I’d been wanting to roast my own peppers for years, but never had.
I’d always loved roasted peppers, be they red, green, or yellow. I had read about the different possible methods, about the tips and tricks, about the things that could go wrong and how to avoid them, about how freshly roasted peppers were astonishingly better than jarred — I knew all that.
Somehow I could not imagine how my bell peppers, fresh and firm and plasticky to the touch, could actually roast and char and blisten in my oven.
But for some obscure reason, I held the belief, deep inside of me, that it just would not work, not for me. Sure, it worked for thousands of others, but somehow I could not imagine how my bell peppers, fresh and firm and plasticky to the touch, could really cook and soften in my oven, or that their skin could actually get charred and blistered. It was beyond me.
And then the other day, we had two organic green bell peppers in the fridge from our weekly basket, and I decided it was high time I test my own limits, and see whether I was indeed the X-File of bell pepper roasting.
The good news is, I’m not.
And what an incredible discovery! It is the easiest thing in the whole wide world! It works beautifully! And the result is so delightfully good and pretty, so tasty and tender that really, I need to stop myself from thinking about all those wasted years, spent not roasting my own bell peppers.
I will note that I prefer to deseed my bell peppers before roasting, when they can just fall out from inside, rather than struggle to scrape them off from the sticky flesh after roasting. It’s up to you, though.
- Bell peppers of any color, firm and glowing
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).
- I prefer to deseed the peppers before roasting: carve all around the stem of each pepper, pull that out, and discard the seeds that come with it. Hold the pepper upside down and slap it a few times on the sides so the remaining seeds fall out (plus, the sound is fun).
- Place the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet or baking dish, and insert into the oven.
- Roast the peppers for 30 to 45 minutes, flipping them every 15 minutes so they'll roast evenly. They will collapse and soften, and their skin will blacken and blister.
- Take the baking sheet or dish out of the oven.
- If you need to use the bell peppers right away, transfer them to a paper bag, close it tightly, and let rest for 15 minutes. This allows the steam from the peppers to loosen the skin, making it easier to peel.
- If you're roasting the bell peppers in advance, let cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and place in the fridge. After a few hours or overnight, the skin will peel off easily.
- Peel the skin off of the peppers with your fingers. Slice the peppers open, and remove the white membranes inside if desired (I don't usually bother).
- Eat as is or add to sandwiches, salads, and pasta sauces.
- Roasted bell peppers will keep for a few days in the fridge; freeze for longer storage.
- To add to a pasta dish or salad, roasting one bell pepper per 2 or 3 guests. To serve as an antipasti, roast one bell pepper per guest.
- Mix and match bell pepper colors for a pretty antipasti platter effect.