Friday, November 4, 2016

What To Do With a Peck of Peppers

If you were lucky enough to have planted a vegetable garden last summer, you may—like me—have an overabundance of red bell peppers sitting in your fridge right about now. Now, I love red peppers. That’s why I planted them. But there’s no way I’ll be able to eat them all before they go bad, no matter how many stir fries, fajitas, or Thai curries I prepare over the next few weeks. I therefore needed a way to preserve them.

halved and seeded and ready to bake

Red peppers are at their best when they’ve been roasted, so that was what I decided to do with this year’s harvest. I halved and seeded them, tossed them with olive oil, and laid them out on a roasting pan. (Place them on foil or parchment paper, because the burnt pepper pyuck is a pain to clean off the pan.)

I then roasted them in a hot oven (450° F) for about 20-25 minutes—rotating the pan as needed so they roasted evenly—until the skins were starting to blacken.

Here's a close-up: 

Make sure to keep an eye on them as they roast,
as they can go from light brown to black in no time!

As you can see, the peppers shrink some as they cook. Dump the peppers into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap, to let the them steam. Once they had cooled, the skins should slide off easily. If not, you can scrape the meat off the skins with a butter knife. (Or, if you’re lazy like me, leave the skins on. They add more smoky flavor to the peppers, and will add fiber to your diet!)

I then placed them in glass jars and poured olive oil on top, enough to cover the peppers. They’ll keep for weeks in the refrigerator (though the olive oil will congeal and turn cloudy as it hardens).

I’m going to use the peppers for a roasted pepper soup this weekend. In my next post I’ll show you what I did, and give you the results.

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