Search This Blog

Friday, March 5, 2010

Roasted Red Peppers

One of the most useful skills I acquired this year was roasting red peppers, which was awfully convenient since I also developed a ravenous taste for the same. After paying $3 per bottle at the grocery store a few times, I was amazed to discover how remarkably easy it was to prepare them at home.

This actually isn't the first time in my life I've roasted red peppers. When I was in Italy in the early 80s, I remember roasting them over the burners of our gas range with an Italian friend who then taught me to make pepperonata, a pasta sauce with roasted red peppers as a base. I remember loving the sauce, but regretting the amount of time the tedious roasting process took.

This year I discovered that it's actually incredibly easy to roast peppers under a broiler. It can also be done on a barbecue grill, but that requires going outside, firing up the grill, turning the peppers, etc. The (very brief and simple) step-by-step instructions are below.

1. Wash the red peppers and slice them in quarters. Remove the seeds and membranes.

2. Place the peppers peeling side up so that they are as flat as possible (with as much outside surface facing upward as possible) in a baking pan. Place the pan in the oven, about 4 to 5 inches from the broiler. Broil on high until much of the surface of the peppers is blistered and black. The photo above shows a pepper that is fully roasted, although I actually probably could have left it under the broiler for another minute or so and it would have been easier to peel. On average, the roasting process takes about 10 minutes, so be patient.

3. Remove the peppers from the oven and put them in a sealable (zip top) plastic bag. This allows them to sweat so that the skin comes loose. After 10 minutes or so, remove them from the plastic bag and remove the peelings. The more thoroughly roasted the peelings, the easier it will be to remove the peel.

4. Use the peppers in any variety of dishes. I'll try to post some of my favorites here in the near future. I cook them with a chuck roast and onions to make a lovely goulash. They're also wonderful on salads or sandwiches. Add them to a tomato-based pasta sauce for a real treat.

If you want to make them more like the roasted red peppers you buy already prepared, put them in an airtight container with a little bit of olive oil--just enough to coat them. Then slice them into thin (1/4 inch) strips and enjoy!


  1. Roasted peppers of any color, but particularly the red variety, are divine. I have been roasting them for many a year since I also learned to do it over the gas stovetop in Italy. While green is not my favorite variety, I adore them roasted with a little olive oil, salt and lemon juice...this is Sharon, BTW. I frequently check in your food blog...

  2. Hi Sharon, thanks for the comment! It's great to hear from you. I've never tried the salt and lemon juice seasoning, but it sounds heavenly and is now on my list of things to experiment with. And I agree--roasted green peppers are not my favorite, either, but they're certainly better than doing without!

  3. Have you ever had Brick Oven's Roasted Red Pepper sauce? We love it and it would be wonderful to be able to make it at home. I should have looked at your blog before I went shopping yesterday. Thanks, Laura

  4. I think I have had it, but don't remember it well enough to think how to replicate it. I guess we should go there and try it out! My guess is that it's a type of pepperonata, which I have made before. Does it have cream in it as well?