Roasted Red Peppers
A couple of posts ago I mentioned it was the end of the pepper season here and explained a recipe for Stuffed Green Peppers. In this post I wanted to talk about red peppers. I tend to harvest all the peppers that are red, or mostly red, and roast them on an open fire. They are easy to store, simple to re-heat and excellent in any number of dishes. Just fry a couple up to go with pork fillets, slice up a couple to go on top of a pizza or you can add colour and warmth to a sauce or dip by simply blending in.
If you don’t have your own peppers, now is a good time to buy them as they are in season and will be fresher and hopefully cheaper. Before I get into a recipe however, let me digress a moment…..
If you like peppers, you need to put Puente La Reina in Navarre, Spain on your bucket list. I was fortunate enough to be there last year at the time of the pepper fair. It was in fact pure luck, as we had no idea that they had a pepper fair and the halt was simply a rest stop on the way back from a weekend in the area. The town itself is well worth a visit, beautiful buildings and of course the bridge (puente). It is also on the Santiago Route across norther Spain…… and then of course there is the fair.
I have never seen so many different varieties of peppers, nor as many people buying them. Some of course were buying peppers to eat immediately, but many were buying them, in large quantities I might add, to roast and store. What I had never seen before, or indeed even heard of, were the roasting machines. They looked like jet engines on stands but I soon realised their purpose as buckets of fresh peppers were fed in at one end and freshly roasted peppers spewed out of the other.
We bought a couple of kilos, that was the minimum quantity, and watched them through the roasting process. Within a couple of minutes the delicious smell of roasting peppers filled the air as they dropped out of the back of the machine into a bag. I can’t really remember the price now, but it was a pittance compared to what one has to pay in the shops.
As I say, it was most interesting and well worth a visit if you are in the area.
Anyway, back to the recipe…… This is a traditional recipe. It was taught to me by the villagers where I now live. The peppers are normally roasted over an open fire. I would recommend you firing up the barbecue for this recipe, but they can just as easily be done directly over a low flame on a gas hob or under a hot grill. Just a quick word of warning, whichever method you use please note that the peppers can generate quite a bit of internal steam and boiling juices. Handle with care when moving or taking off the heat. Apart from that the recipe couldn’t be simpler!
Roasted Red Peppers:
Red bell peppers
Rub the peppers all over with a little olive oil.
Burn using whatever method you chose.
Put the still hot peppers in a large bag or container and seal. Leave until the peppers are cool.
Peel the peppers.
Eat and / or freeze. I put the peppers on a flat baking tray, making sure there is a gap between each pepper. The peppers can be folded up so they take up less space. Once frozen I put them into bags.
When you need one, just defrost and use.
I hope you can see from the photographs all the steps I take to roast peppers. It really is difficult to get it wrong. This recipe is for thick fleshed bell peppers. Other, thinner fleshed peppers, can be done in the same way but it is much trickier to get the burning just right. Too little and they can’t be peeled, too much and the peppers burn!
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2015 Lincoln W. Betteridge