May 1, 2011

VH BASICS: How to Roast Bell Peppers

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I've done a VH BASICS post and since I've done a couple of recipes using Roasted Red Peppers (and a couple more to come soon!) I thought I would show you all how to roast your own peppers! It's actually a really simple thing to do and much more affordable than buying a jar of peppers that go bad if you don't use them within a week of opening! Believe me, I've thrown out a couple of jars of roasted peppers because I haven't used them.

In the picture I took, I've cut the bell pepper in half. I had a cut pepper in my fridge that I needed to use up (I put some of it on a sandwich a few days ago), but the directions I'm going to give you are for roasting whole peppers. If you want to skip a few of the steps, you can seed and de-rib the peppers before roasting. Or you can just pop a whole pepper in the oven and deal with the de-seeding, de-stemming, and de-ribbing afterwards.

But first, here are a couple of recipes using roasted red peppers:

1. Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
2. Roasted Red Pepper Quinoa with Asparagus

I made a really yummy roasted red pepper dressing today! I'll share that recipe with you soon!! Follow the directions after the jump!

1. Preheat your oven's broiler.

2. Use two teaspoons of vegetable oil for each pepper. Avoid extra-virgin olive oil as its smoke point is low and will burn when broiled. Coat each pepper evenly with oil. A pastry brush is useful, but fingers will work in a pinch. Make sure to coat inside the folds of each pepper.

3. Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet on the highest rack in your oven.

4. Keep a watchful eye on the peppers. When dark splotches begin to appear on the peppers, remove the baking sheet from the oven.

5. The peppers will be very hot. Using tongs, carefully turn each pepper over. Once all of the peppers are turned, return the sheet to the oven.

6. When the tops of the peppers begin to darken again, remove them from the oven and place them into a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure that it is sealed air-tight all the way around. The steam from the trapped hot peppers will loosen the skins.

7. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle (probably about 15 to 20 minutes), pull the stems out of each pepper.

8. Hold one end of the pepper down on a flat surface and gently peel the skin off of each pepper. The skin should slide off fairly easily.

9. Lift each pepper up and hold it with one hand, while using your other hand to squeeze down the pepper's length. The bulk of the seeds and pulp should drop out the bottom.

10. With the backside of the knife, slit open the side of each pepper and spread them out (ribbed side up). With the dull side of your knife, scrape off any of the ribs or membrane that remains in the pepper.

And that's it! I know it looks like a lot, but it doesn't take very long at all. Plus, the results are amazingly delicious!

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