Roasting Sweet Peppers — A Revelation!

I’ve been roasting and peeling sweet peppers for at least 40 years in my cooking career, so I thought I had the methodologies down pat.  They included grilling them until well-charred on the gas grill, roasting them whole or cut in half vertically in a very hot oven, or broiling them on high heat in a similar manner.  In all of these, the peppers are washed and dried and cooked with oil, so the skins will char and peel easily.  Ha!  Think again — there is another way, and I found I really like the results.

I was perusing one of my seldom-used cookbooks the other night (Lidia Bastianich’s Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy), and I was intrigued by the Farro and Roasted Pepper Sauce recipe.  Here’s her technique:

“Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Rub the peppers all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Roast for 30 minutes or so, turning the peppers occasionally, until their skins are wrinkled and slightly charred.  Let the peppers cool completely…..  Peel the skin off the cooled peppers, and then slice (as desired)”

It worked beautifully.  The peppers peeled much more easily than with other methods.  No small pieces of charred skin on everything.  No wads of paper towels used in the skinning process.  And perfectly tender texture in the finished peppers.

Live, experiment, and learn!

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