Red bell peppers have been showing up at more reasonable prices recently. Which is great, because marinated roasted red peppers are one of the supreme tasty and healthy pleasures of life on earth. If you haven’t made these at home, now is the time to get started. But don’t be tempted to substitute yellow bell peppers which are beautiful, but tasteless, or green bell peppers which have a completely different flavor profile. Serves 4 as a side salad.
1 lb red bell peppers (usually 3 peppers, though if they weigh a little more that’s fine)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 t Kosher salt
1 T capers
1 T balsamic or red wine vinegar
3 T good olive oil
Method: char the peppers, turning until all sides and the ends are evenly blackened. (If the pepper has one of those SKU stickers from the supermarket, remove it first!) If you have a gas stove you can do this right over a burner. If your stove is electric, you’ll have to use the broiler. As the peppers are done, transfer to a paper bag and seal tightly. Allow the peppers to steam until they become cool enough to handle, about an hour. Remove the charred skin with your hands under running water and tear the peppers apart, discarding the stem and seeds and pulling the flesh into strips the width of a fork. Drain thoroughly then mix peppers with the other ingredients. Allow to marinate at least 2 hours, during which the peppers will give off delicious juice* that blends with the other liquids. Serve the peppers as a side dish on their own, not mixed into a salad, so you can enjoy them to the fullest.
*I was once in Roma’s, my fine Italian deli, when an old-school guy ordered a sandwich with (non-marinated) roasted red peppers. Did he want dressing, he was asked? “No… just the juice ‘a the pep.”