Growing up in an Italian household, a staple appetizer (antipasto) in the house was fresh mozzarella, tomato, and roasted red peppers. When I eventually moved out, I wanted to keep this memory of home alive in my new home. And of course wanted impress Mr E when we started dating. Living in Hoboken, NJ, it was easy to obtain some amazing homemade mutz, and of course being in Jersey makes tomatoes plentiful. But when I originally recreated the dish, I was buying jarred roasted red peppers. VERY DIFFERENT from what mom used to make. So I took matters into my own hands and learned how to roast them myself.
No Big Deal
My mom is a typical Italian woman, which means every meal or meal-related ingredient is considered a “project”: making sauce (aka “gravy”), frying eggplant, roasting peppers. It’s not possible to just do the amount you need for the meal at hand. It must be done in massive batches to be stored in the second fridge/freezer for later use. So of course, I was always intimidated doing my own roasted red peppers because I didn’t want to roast an entire bushel at once – too much work and not enough room in the fridge I shared with 2 other roommates.
Turns out, I could just roast what I needed and it’s NOT that big a project. Learning a few tricks along the way helped me to perfectly roast those red peppers and enjoy all the antioxidant benefits along with vitamins A, C, and folate for a healthy addition to my meals.
Creating Perfectly Roasted Red Peppers
My my mom does her “Big Project” on the grill. I prefer the oven because these peppers need to be rotated frequently. Start by lining a large sheet pan with non-stick foil. Make sure the pan is completely covered- these peppers will drip and I’m all about the minimal clean-up. Place in a 450ºF oven for 40 minutes, rotating a quarter turn every 15 minutes. As soon as the peppers are done roasting, place in a metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap- allow to steam for 10 minutes. A metal bowl is key here to trap in the heat and steam – this helps loosen the skin on the peppers. Do not skip this step, or you will have a tough time removing the skin. Using a cutting board with a deep groove to catch excess liquid, begin by using your hands to rip the pepper in half. Remove the stem and seeds, peel away the skin, and discard. Use a paring knife to scrape away any stubborn seeds or skin. Place peeled peppers in an airtight container, and pour remaining liquid over peppers for added flavor. Store in the fridge up to 5 days, or place in the freezer up to 6 months (make sure to label & date them before freezing). VIEW VIDEO FOR HOW TO PEEL OFF SKIN.
— Mandy Enright MS RDN (@NutriNuptials) July 20, 2016
So many ways to enjoy roasted red peppers!
- Fresh mozzarella and tomatoes (of course!)
- Add to salads
- Sandwich or burger topping
- Chop up and add to grains for a side dish or salad
- Scramble with eggs or in an omelette
- Blend with chickpeas and tahini for hummus
- Puree with garlic and olive oil for a dip
- Create a sauce for pasta or veggie noodles
- As a filling for stuffed chicken or fish dishes
- Layer in veggie lasagna
- Pizza topping
- Use as a soup base
- Mix the juices with oil & vinegar for a dressing or dipping oil
RECOMMENDED REGISTRY ITEMS:
- large baking sheet/jelly roll pan
- metal mixing bowl set
- paring knife
- cutting board with deep groove
Try this method next time you make roasted rep peppers.
Whether it’s a big project or small, enjoy those peppers!
Let me know what you think in the Comments below.
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Perfectly Roasted Red Peppers
- 3 - 6 red bell peppers
Place peppers on a sheet pan lined with non-stick foil.
Place in a 450ºF oven for 40 minutes.
Rotate peppers a quarter turn every 10 minutes, until skin is somewhat blackened.
Place peppers in a metal bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes to steam.
Remove peppers one at a time and place on a cutting board with deep grooves to catch juices. Using hands, rip pepper in half and remove stem with seeds attached. Peel away skin and discard.
Place peppers in airtight container and pour reserved juices over peppers for additional flavor. Store in fridge up to 5 days, or freeze up to 6 months.
1 pepper= 10 calories, 0g fat (0g sat fat), 4g carbs, 1g fiber, 0g protein, 4 mg sodium (Source: SELF Nutrition Data)
DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own and are not influenced or biased by any third parties. I am not compensated for mentioning any specific brands or retailers on this blog, however I do serve as an affiliate for several retailers.