Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: An Excellent Nibble

September 6, 2018 by General Administrator

The great chef James Beard declared that in his kitchen no pepper was used until it had been roasted. I would not go quite that far, but roasting certainly transforms a pepper into something irresistibly delicious. It’s easy to do. Roasted peppers can be used in many ways—I’ll mention a few in a minute—but it’s hardly worth the effort since in my experience a dish of roasted peppers in a little olive oil and salt will be gobbled up immediately. Serve with an aperitivo or as part of your meal.

If by some miracle the peppers don’t get consumed on the spot you can arrange them on a platter with a few quartered hard-cooked eggs, black olives, and fresh basil, to make a little salad (drizzle with more olive oil before serving). Or use anchovies instead of or in addition to the eggs. You can drape them over a pizza. You can mix them with a tin of white beans, parsley, chopped tomatoes, and olive oil for a more substantial lunch. But really you’re going to eat these right away.

Roasted Peppers

Whole peppers of any colour or shape
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil or parsley (optional)

Preheat your grill. Arrange the peppers on a baking tray or oven rack and place them about 4 inches from the grill. Roast the peppers for 8-10 minutes, turning them regularly, until they are charred on all sides. The goal is for the skin to go black and flaky so that it can be removed easily.

Once each peppers is charred on all sides remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool a bit. When it’s cool enough to handle rub off the charred skin to reveal the smooth, roasted flesh underneath. Don’t run it under the tap or you’ll remove the flavour. Cut the pepper in half and remove the seeds.

Slice the halved peppers into long strips and put in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add chopped herbs if you wish. They’re ready to serve.

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