Roasted Red Peppers (Capsicum)
Roasted peppers made a delicious addition to salads, sandwiches and pasta. Their bright red colour and rich taste add a touch of distinction to any dish. So why pay the price of delis when you can make your own in just a few minutes? Roasting peppers is quick and easy and the recipes below will make your next dinner party or luncheon something to remember.
Easy Roasted Red Peppers (Capsicum)
Slice peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place skin side up on roasting tray and place 2-4 inches under hot roaster (grill). Roast until skin is blistered and black. WATCH CLOSELY, once peppers begin to blacken it happens quickly. Remove peppers with tongs and place in brown paper bag for 5 minutes then cool completely in cold water. Skins should start to peel away in the water, remove by hand any remaining skin. Alternatively, peppers can be baked. Place peppers sliced as above, skin side up on a baking sheet. Bake in a hot oven (450F/220C) for 20 minutes or until peppers collapse (peppers will not blacken). Finish as above.
Once roasted, peppers can preserved for several days by placing in jars and drizzling with extra virgin olive oil. You can even add a sprig of rosemary to the jar for a different taste sensation. Roasted peppers make a plain salad or sandwich extra special and look great on an antipasto platter. Pastas and boring vegetables can be livened up instantly by simply chopping the roasted peppers and stirring through the dish. Here are a couple roasted pepper recipes to replace the chip-and-dip starters we all fall back on.
Baked Ricotta with Garlic Roasted Peppers
1lb (500 g) ricotta cheese, drained
2 tsp olive oil
1 roasted red pepper cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon pickled capers
freshly ground black pepper
Cut ricotta into 1/2 inch slices and place on baking tray. Place peppers in bowl, add a pinch of garlic powder, drizzle with oil and gently mix. Arrange the peppers on top of the cheese in a striped, swirled or lattice pattern, dot with capers and sprinkle with pepper. Bake in a moderate oven (350F/180C) for 25 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.
Roasted Pepper Pt
1 large roasted red pepper
1 oz (30g) sun-dried tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, crushed or pressed
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sherry, white wine, or brandy
1/2 cup roasted nuts (almonds or cashews)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste
fresh basil for garnish
Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth, salt to taste. Pour into a decorative dish, drizzle with olive oil, top with fresh basil, and serve immediately or cover and chill until needed. Store covered in refrigerator.
Roasting peppers is an easy process. It brings out the natural oils of the vegetable and their distinctive taste will brighten even the most boring foods. Impress your family and friends by adding roasted peppers to your next meal. You will be surprised at how easy it is and they will be impressed by how clever you are.