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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Summertime's sweet bell peppers are a riot of lively color and flavor, and I serve them as often as possible, particularly when I fire up the grill. These are grilled and then left to mingle with the bay leaves, but I reheat them quickly before serving to intensify their flavor. This also brings out the wonderful flavor of the bay leaves. If you are not in the habit of using fresh bay leaves, you will become a fan as soon as you try them. Don't substitute dried bay leaves for fresh here-use finely shredded fresh basil instead.
Light a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill to medium.
Put the peppers over the hottest part of the grill and cook until they begin to char. Turn with tongs and continue grilling until the peppers are charred on all sides. Stand by the grill during this time-the peppers cook quickly. Using tongs to turn them prevents them from splitting open. Transfer immediately to a container just large enough to hold them. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the peppers cool to the touch.
Peel the blackened skin from the peppers, scraping them gently with a small knife. Take care to keep the peppers whole. Coat the peppers with the oil and transfer to a bowl large enough to hold them snugly.
Tuck the bay leaves among the peppers so that the leaves come in contact with each pepper. Let sit for 1 hour. If using basil leaves, cut them into thin shreds for better flavor and presentation.
When ready to serve, lay the peppers on a cool part of the grill and heat for 20 to 30 seconds on each side. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.