We love roasted red peppers. On a homemade pizza, sharing space on a plate with a piece of fresh mozzarella drizzled with olive oil, balsamic and sea salt, on top of scrambled eggs, there’s nothing better than this unique blend of savory and sweet.
But we’d never made them ourselves. Until a couple of weeks ago, they were something we got from Italian delis called “pork stores” or jars.
Then, I agreed to be pizzaiolo at my godson’s birthday party, and his mother (my sister Connie, actually her name is Kristen) brought some homemade roasted red peppers as one of the toppings.
It’s an intimidating looking and tasting ingredient, it just seems like there has to be some magic in there that is hard to pull off, but there really isn’t.
When you Google “roasted red pepper recipe,” the first thing that comes up is Ina Garten’s version, and we haven’t seen a reason to move off it, although we did add an important modification* that has, to invoke another great Food Network stalwart, taken things up a notch.
Here are seven steps to roasted red deliciousness:
1. Pre-heat an oven to 500 degrees.
2. Wash and dry 4-6 red peppers, put them on a baking tray.
*3. Take one or two heads of garlic and make a slice across the top, about a half inch down, exposing most of the cloves inside. Place them on the same tray, drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt on top of the head.
4. Put the tray in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the peppers are charred and a little shriveled. Use tongs to turn them every 10-15 minutes so multiple sides come in contact with the hot metal of the tray.
5. Remove from the oven, use oven mits to wrap the tray in tin foil and let stand for about 30 minutes, until the peppers are cool enough to work with.
6. Separate the peppers from their skins and stems, use a knife to cut about 4-6 slices per pepper, remove and discard the seeds.
*7. Squeeze out the garlic from the head(s) and combine with the pepper slices and a little good olive oil in a jar or a bowl.
According to Ina, these can keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. We’ve never gotten that far, the ones we’ve made have never lasted more than a day or two, which seems like a good sign.