People seem to think you’ve got to be crazy to roast peppers yourself at home. “Why not just buy them in those little jars?” they ask. Well, my friends, the vegetable matter in those little jars–they’re roast peppers, but they’re not roast peppers. The texture’s not right, and the charring tastes … uncharred. You can do much better, and it’s really pretty easy–especially when you use the broiler, the single most underused oven setting in America.
- 6 bell peppers–red, yellow, orange, or a mixture
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- A generous pinch each of salt and coarse-ground black pepper
1. Turn the oven on to broil.
2. Cut the peppers in half from top to bottom, stem and all, splitting the stems in half lengthwise. With each pepper half, hook your thumb under the seeds and the stem and pull the whole thing out in one go. Pull off any remaining white pith.
3. Put the pepper halves in a bowl and pour the olive oil over the top. Mix with your hands to coat each pepper piece completely Season with salt and pepper.
4. Lay the peppers skin-side up on a roasting rack and place them on the middle oven rack to roast. At the 5-minute mark, rotate the pan to ensure even roasting. At 10 minutes, the skins should be black and blistery; turn the peppers over and return them to the overi. At the 15-minute mark, rotate the pan again. When the peppers are thoroughly blistered and blackened in places on both sides (about 20 minutes), use a pair of tongs to remove them to a bowl.
5. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and let the peppers steam for 20 minutes. They will continue to cook without browning, and the skins will peel away from the meat.
6. Slip the skins off and discard them. At the bottom of the bowl in which the peppers have been steaming, you’ll find what I call “liquid gold”-the most intense roasted-pepper flavor possible. Save it and if you’ve got leftover roast peppers, you can store them in the fridge in the liquid gold to help them keep their flavor and texture. They’ll keep for up to a week.