Recently, I ran across an attractive vegetarian lasagna recipe that called for roasted red bell peppers from a jar. It occurred to me that perhaps the writer did not know how easy it actually is to roast fresh bell peppers at home. It's so easy that I thought twice about adding this post at the risk of boring readers, however I am hoping that some of you will find this post helpful, and start roasting your own red bell peppers at home. Freshly roasted bell peppers are sweeter, smokier and have a superior texture to the ones from the jar. They are an excellent addition to sandwiches, soups and pastas, among other dishes. This is a recipe that was shared with me by Sherry Page of Culinary Getaways at a cooking demonstration during my truffle trip.
Step one: Rinse and dry the red bell peppers completely. Place the whole fresh red bell pepper on top of a burner. Have metal kitchen tongs ready. Turn the gas stove onto medium high to high, a hot temperature that you are comfortable working with.
Step two: Watch for the sides of the bell pepper to blister, char and blacken, which should take roughly 2-3 minutes per side. When a side is blackened, rotate the red bell pepper with your kitchen tong to blacken the next side of the bell pepper. Repeat until the entire bell pepper (except the stem) is blackened.
Step three: Place the completely blackened bell pepper into a paper bag. If you are roasting multiple peppers, place as many that will fit into the bag, and fold down the bag. Allow the peppers to rest for at least 20 minutes.
Step four: Once the peppers have steamed in the paper bag for at least 20 minutes, remove a pepper and rub the skin off. The charred skins should peel off effortlessly, and voilà you'll have homemade roasted red bell peppers tastier than any that come a jar!