Friday, February 6, 2009

Roasted Peppers (Healthy!)

Ok, ok, ok. I know it's been a while, but there's been lots going on! I have some great new recipes in the works for you (goulash, hummus, and more!), and a new website is in the works! It's all very exciting, but it doesn't leave much room for posting.

Over the holidays, I got a lot of e-mails asking about appetizers and sides. In my responses I completely neglected one of the greatest antipasti elements of all time: Roasted Peppers.

If you're like me, and you have two Italian grandmothers, you eat a lot of antipasti dishes. Particularly at my Grandma Crowley's house I can rely on a hefty tray of olives, salamis, cheeses, and of course, roasted peppers.

Your typical margarita salad has fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and tomatoes. I like to use roasted peppers instead. After years of picking them up at the deli or grocery store, my mom decided to start making and jarring her own peppers. I learned the process by watching her, and was surprised to find that it's actually really easy. Now you can do it too.

Roasted Peppers

7 Red Bell Peppers, seeded and cut in half
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic

1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2) In a food processor, pulverize the olive oil and garlic.

3) Arrange pepper halves on a baking tray, fitting as many as you can.
Unless you want a designated pepper pan, make sure you line your pan. The sugar from the peppers WILL ruin your non-stick cookie sheet!

4) Brush the peppers with the garlic/oil mix so they are completely coated.

5) Bake at 400* until the peppers begin to shrivel and the skins start to burn, about 20 minutes.

6) Let them cool until they can be handled.

7) Peel off the skins.
The skins should have started separating from the peppers already, so it should not be hard to peel them. If the skins haven't started to separate, stick them back in the oven for another 5-7 minutes.

Once your peppers are peeled you're ready to go! Put them in a bowl, or a jar. They'll go great on a sandwich or by themselves. Eat them with eggplant or cheese! They are so versatile, you can't go wrong!

Another great thing: Sometimes red peppers are on sale for a relatively cheap price. Buy a ton of them! You can roast them and jar them in oil. They will have a longer shelf life, you'll stretch out your dollar, AND you'll always have roasted peppers!

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