Roasted red peppers, especially the kind you make yourself, are so astonishingly good they should be the first recipe that anyone who wants to learn to cook is taught. As easy as boiling a pot of water and much more interesting to eat, a batch of roasted red peppers in the refrigerator is the culinary equivalent of money in the bank.
With the addition of roasted peppers, practically everything you make can be upgraded. If anyone wants to get persnickety, the truth is that what is generally called “roasted” pepper is really “grilled,” but the end result is the same. Once the charred skin is removed, a firm, crisp bell pepper has been transformed into a soft, intensely flavored delectable sweet pepper. Because the idea of twirling a pepper over an open flame seems as impractical as roasting a single pepper, we like to roast as many as can comfortably fit on a baking sheet or grill.
When the skins are blackened, we often take a shortcut. Instead of putting the peppers in a bag to steam, we let them sit until they’re cool enough to handle and then peel off the skins. A bowl of red peppers will only last a few days in the fridge, but while it’s there, we live it up with roasted pepper and goat cheese sandwiches for lunch and sliced peppers draped over everything from omelets to burgers. Before we pop chicken breasts on the grill, we whirl together roasted peppers, oil and vinegar to make a sauce. The combination is almost too easy to call a recipe, but we love it. ers. Before we pop chicken breasts on the grill, we whirl together roasted peppers, oil and vinegar to make a sauce. The combination is almost too easy to call a recipe, but we love it.
—By Jean Kressy