What a treat!
If you ever had sweet roasted peppers, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you’re in for a delicious surprise if you try oven roasted red peppers. They are delicious with just a bit of salt and oil, but if you want a bit more zing, you can add a splash of vinegar of lemon juice. And since you’re roasting peppers, you might as well roast some eggplants: they make a delicious combination!
I remember my mom buying huge sacks of Kapia peppers (probably over 100 pounds of them), and roasting them on a round metal tray straight on top of the flame of the stove. It was a family affair: we roasted hundreds of sweet red peppers and froze them in the right potions for winter. YUM!
What You Need To Make Oven Roasted Red Peppers
Of course, you’ll need some fresh from the garden red peppers. Our family’s favorites are Kapia peppers: they are the sweetest peppers I came across. They are thin though, so you need to be more careful while roasting them, so you don’t burn them.
Red bell peppers are great if you don’t have access to Kapia peppers. They are meatier, and still sweet.
And while red is my favorite color, I learned that yellow and purple peppers are also sweet. We stay away from green peppers, because they have a slightly bitter taste. And well, I’ve been spoiled with the unrivaled flavor of red roasted peppers!!!
You’ll also need a large baker’s sheet (I have this aluminum one and it worked amazingly well!), some salt and a big pot to save the peppers while waiting to peel them. Oh, and of course a set of kitchen tongs to turn the peppers with, unless you want to use a couple forks like I did 😉
Lastly, if you plan to freeze your roasted peppers like I do, you’ll need some freezer containers (these are the one I use), and some freezer labels to know what’s in there and the date. Or, you can get fancy and use these reusable containers with erasable labels.
White and Red 1 x 2 Inch Freezer Labels, Set of 100Hot Target Set of 3 – 7, 9, 12 Inch, Heavy Duty, Non- Stick, Stainless Steel Silicone Kitchen Tongs50 Food Containers with leak-proof lids – 25 oz | Microwave & Freezer safe
How To Roast Peppers In The Oven
Start by sorting your peppers by size (so they can roast evenly), then wash them and line them up on your oven tray.
Place them in the oven under the broiler and set your timer. I leave them for 8 minutes on the first side and 6 minutes on the other sides.
You might need to start with a shorter amount of time, depending on how close your broiler is to the tray and how strong the heat is. Once you learn how your oven works for this, it’s smooth sailing.
After your peppers are roasted evenly on all sides, place them in a large pot, add a pinch of salt and cover them. They will sweat and the skin will peel a lot easier when you’re ready.
How To Peel Roasted Peppers
When you finish roasting the peppers, leave them covered with salt for about 30 minutes. The skin will soften up and it will be a lot easier to remove.
Prepare a bowl with cold water so you can dip your fingers to remove the skins, as they are quite sticky. This can also help cool your fingers off if your peppers are still hot.
You might be tempted to peel the skins while running water on the peppers. Please don’t! The juices that form while roasting are what give the roasted peppers their taste. They’ll still be OK, but you’ll lose a lot of the flavor if you don’t take the time to save the juice.
One more tip for you: peel the skins over the bowl you’re saving your finished peppers in: this way the juice drops into the bowl and not into your pile of skins.
I LOVE having a bit of juice with my peppers: I add some oil and then dip my homemade bread into that sauce: sooo good!!!
I prefer to remove the seeds to both save space in the freezer and make it easier on the family to eat without having to spit the seeds out. If you prefer, you can leave the seeds: this way the peppers can make a nicer presentation ;). If you scroll down you’ll see a picture of the peppers left this way.
How To Store Roasted Peppers
Now that you roasted and peeled your peppers, it’s time to store them. If you only made enough to eat now, store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Make sure they are in a tightly sealed container, as the pepper smell can easily permeate everything in your fridge.
If you made enough to freeze some for later, portion your peppers out in servings big enough for your family. I prefer freezer friendly plastic containers because they store better, but I also used freezer bags. Whichever you have on hand will work.
Don’t forget to label your containers before placing them in the freezer.
How To Use Roasted Red Peppers
In my opinion, roasted red peppers are perfect to eat straight out of the oven. I have a confession to make: when I roast peppers, I eat a large amount while peeling them. We usually roast 200 to 250 peppers in one day. And while peeling them I probably easily eat 20 or more.
Roasted peppers also make beautiful garnishes for meat dishes, add color to potato salad, give flavor and texture to pasta sauces, are great in sandwiches, etc.
Yet, my favorite way to eat them is simply with some salt and olive oil. This coupled with homemade oatmeal bread is to die for.
I actually think I need to go to the freezer and get one of my roasted peppers containers out for tomorrow. I’m already drooling!