How to roast peppers

Add extra flavor to your peppers

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It’s pepper season! But you can only find so many ways to use them. Roasting your peppers gives them a new flavor profile and opens up the pepper possibilities.

Roasting peppers is easy and the ones you make yourself are much better than the ones that come in a jar. But first, let's clear up a big misconception. Peppers can't be roasted by holding them with tongs over an open flame or placing them in a dry skillet. That process just blisters the outside of the peppers, leaving the insides raw. Which is great if that's what your recipe calls for! But if your recipe calls for roasted peppers, you'll need a different method.

How to roast peppers

This method can be used to roast any raw pepper, but most recipes call for roasted red bell peppers. Yellow and orange are also tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 4 bell peppers, washed and dried

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and evenly space the peppers on the pan. There's no need to spray the foil with cooking spray.
  3. Put the peppers in the oven and allow them to cook for at least 1 hour, opening the oven door only to quickly turn them with tongs every 20 or 25 minutes. The skin of the peppers will begin to blister and become wrinkly. Try to turn them to get all sides blistered well, but it's OK if there's still some color showing through in places. The peppers are done when they have black patches on all sides and have collapsed and softened.
  4. Remove them from the oven and let them sit without touching them for half an hour or until they're cool enough to handle. Remember, the juice inside will be very hot at first. Do not rush this step.
  5. When the peppers have cooled, work over a large mixing bowl and cut a slit up 1 side from top to bottom to remove the juices, seeds and the stem. Then use your fingers to remove and discard the blistered skin.
  6. Cut the peppers from bottom to stem side into slices about 1 to 1-1/2 inches thick.

Recipes using roasted peppers

Roasted red pepper and feta dip
Smoky tomato, roasted red pepper and arugula pasta
Meatless Monday: Avocado, roasted red pepper and provolone panini

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix the Fish. You can follow her on Twitter @HireHeather.