Roasting Peppers

Peppers and I have never really gotten along. I have always wanted to like them, but many peppers, especially green ones, have a strong flavor and do not sit well in my stomach. I have tried various methods of cooking them and I have tried eating them raw, all with little success, until now. I finally learned how to roast peppers to my liking and it has definitely helped repair my relationship with them.

Roasting peppers, unlike other methods of cooking them, creates a unique flavor combination of sweet and smoky. It also softens them to the right texture so they are more easily digested, and no longer upset my stomach.

Suddenly I have a whole new array of recipes available to me! One of my favorite ways to prepare roasted peppers is to stuff them with a variety of beans, grains, herbs and cheeses. You can also roast them plain and use them as a pizza topping or blend them into your hummus.

See my basic roasting recipe below and start adding roasted peppers to your food repertoire!

- Veronica

Roasted Red Peppers

I like to use bell peppers, but this recipe works with other varieties. It is important to keep an eye on the pepper because different varieties will have different cook times. I like to scoop the seeds and gills out of my peppers before I roast them because they get too hot and mushy to handle afterwards. I also roast them cut side down because the internal juices steam and make the inside of the pepper softer than when roasting cut side up. I place them in an airtight container to further steam and soften them before stuffing.

Ingredients:
2 red bell peppers

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 ˚F. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, leaving the stem intact. Scoop out the seeds and gills with a metal spoon. Place peppers cut side down on a baking sheet or shallow baking dish. Bake for 25-35 minutes on a middle oven rack, keeping a good watch on the peppers to get them to their desired consistency.

Remove peppers from the oven and immediately place in an airtight container for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove and stuff peppers with your choice of ingredients!

Note: to roast peppers for addition to hummus or other dishes, follow the same instructions except, increase oven temperature to 425˚F, remove the top stem before roasting, and wrap the roasted peppers in damp paper towels right after removing them from the oven. This makes removing the skin easier which is preferable for these kinds of dishes.

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