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 just beyond me. (In passing, I seem to hold the same kind of weird disbelief about leavening agents, which is why I never bake bread. But I’ll get over it soon, I promise.)
And then the other day, we had two organic green bell peppers in the fridge, 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.
Good news, I’m not.
And what an incredible discovery! It is the easiest thing in the whole wide world! It works beautifully! And it isn’t even a pain to remove the membranes and seeds! It’s actually fun! And the result is so delightfully good and pretty — so tasty and tender you would swear on your firstborn’s left big toe that they are soaked in the most flavorful oil — that really, I need to stop myself from thinking about all those wasted years, spent not home-roasting any bell peppers.
- Bell peppers of any color, firm and glowing
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line an oven rack with a sheet of foil.
- Put the peppers, whole, on the rack, and insert into the oven.
- Roast the peppers for 30 to 45 minutes, flipping them every 10-15 minutes so they'll cook evenly. They will collapse and soften, and their skin will blacken and blister.
- Take the rack out of the oven, and wrap the foil around the peppers so they are completely enclosed. If you are roasting many, you may need to divide them into two foil packages. Let rest for 10 minutes. This step allows the steam from the peppers to loosen the skin, making it easier to remove.
- Open the foil package. Pull out the stems and peel the skins off the peppers. Slice them open, and use a fork to remove the white inside membranes and the seeds.
- Cut into strips, and let cool to room temperature before serving.
- 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.