When New Jersey was hit with a blizzard last weekend, I was faced with a food dilemma. I needed to roast 18 peppers for a family birthday dinner. The request had been made for Rigatoni with Roasted Pepper Sauce ( you can find this recipe in the archives under “pasta”) long before the blizzard prediction. The dilemma was that I always roast the peppers on my outdoor grill, which was covered with 2 feet of snow! I knew that there were other ways to roast peppers, but I had never done so before. I was told that I could roast them directly over the flame of my gas stove, but that seemed like a laborious chore for 18 peppers. I was also told that you can broil them on a sheet pan in the oven, but my broiler is not working. What to do?
I decided to consult the internet, where I found a very easy solution. You can bake them in the oven on a sheet pan. It sounded so simple. My only worry was that the peppers wouldn’t have that mildly, charred taste that they get from the grill. But what the heck, I had no choice. It was this or a disappointed birthday girl. I couldn’t have that!
I was very pleased with the results. I might even like the peppers better when roasted this way. Once the charred skin was removed, the peppers were moist, plump, and extremely tasty. A few slices of these peppers, with a drizzle of olive oil, next to a milky piece of fresh mozzarella cheese, and you’ll think you’re in heaven. They are also a fabulous accompaniment to a simple, grilled piece of meat or fish. They just have so much flavor.
My sauce was a success, and the birthday girl was very happy, as was the entire family. I’m glad I didn’t let the blizzard ruin our celebration.
8 large red (and yellow and orange)bell peppers….it’s up to you what colors and how many.
3 or 4 TBSP. very good olive oil
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them once during roasting.
- Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
- Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the skins and the seeds and put in a bowl. You can slice them thinner if you like.
- Pour the olive oil over the peppers.
- They will stay in the refrigerator, covered for up to 2 weeks.