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Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Smoky roasted peppers are among the most delicious of vegetables. I offer only four ways here that roasted peppers can be served as antipasti, but the possibilities are endless. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers are sweeter than the green ones.
1. Arrange the peppers on a grill rack above a charcoal fire, on wire racks positioned over the burners of a gas or electric stove, 2 to 3 inches under a preheated broiler, or in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F. Roast them until they are charred all over and tender inside, turning them frequently to ensure that they blacken evenly, about 30 minutes in the oven, but less time by the other methods. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins using your fingertips, cut the peppers in half, and remove and discard the stems, ribs, and seeds. (Do not do this under running water; it will wash away some of the delicious smoky flavor.)
ROASTED PEPPERS WITH ANCHOVIES: Cut the roasted, peeled, and seeded peppers into long strips about ¾ inch wide. Arrange on a plate, alternating the pepper strips with 16 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained. Sprinkle with 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped, and drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil. Serve at room temperature.
ROASTED PEPPERS WITH SWEET OR HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGES: Cut the roasted, peeled, and seeded peppers into long strips about 1 inch wide. Grill or broil 6 lean sweet or hot Italian sausages until they are evenly browned and cooked through. Cool slightly, then cut each one in half lengthwise. Arrange the sausages and roasted pepper strips on a platter, alternating them for an attractive presentation. Brush the pepper strips lightly with extra-virgin olive oil in which a bruised garlic clove has been infused. Serve hot or warm.
ROASTED PEPPERS WITH FRESH MOZZARELLA AND BASIL: Divide the roasted, peeled, and seeded peppers into thirds following the natural contours of the peppers. Arrange them on a platter, smooth side up, alternating them with slices of fresh mozzarella. Drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with whole fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle with salt and dried red-pepper flakes to taste (remember, they are very spiey!). Serve at room temperature.
ROASTED PEPPERS WITH PARSLEY AND BLACK OLIVES: Cut the roasted, peeled, and seeded peppers into long strips about 3f4 inch wide. Arrange them on a plate. Drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and strew with ¼ pound sharp-flavored black olives, pitted and sliced, and 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley. Serve at room temperature.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information does not include the four different variation ingredients. This recipe serves 8.