Every fall I end up with a surplus of red peppers in my fridge due to a combination of good deals at the farmers market (usually $1 per pepper) and a good harvest from my garden. Important note here; if you’re buying farmers market peppers early in the season (July or August in the mid west) they likely be $2 or more per pepper. Wait! At some point in September there be a weekend where there will be a great deal on peppers; be ready to stock up!
The question then becomes what do I do with them before they go bad. I can eat them or chop them and freeze for later use in my meals (and I do this), but my favorite is to roast them in the oven.
I love roasted red peppers. They are easy to make, freeze well, and can be ready at a moments notice for use on top of a sandwich or as a tasty addition to almost any recipe or salad.
If you have never tried roasting red peppers before it’s really easy. I follow this recipe from Closet Cooking, a site I frequent for new recipe ideas. Here is my step by step guide of how to roast your own peppers.
Step 1: Clean and Prepare Peppers
Take your ripe red peppers out of the fridge, give them a good wash and lay them on your cutting board. While you do this preheat your oven to 450F.
Step 2: Slice Peppers
Slice each pepper in half and remove the seeds and the stem at the top.
Step 3: Prepare for Cooking
Place each half pepper cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet coated with a quick burst of cooking spray. If your oven has reached the proper temperature switch it to broil. If not, wait until it reaches full temperature then make the switch.
Step 4: Cook Until Blackened
Place the peppers on the top rack of your oven for 10-20 minutes until the tops are completely black. Having done this more than a few times this is the key step. Wait until they are fully blackened. This makes the subsequent steps much easier.
Step 5: Let Cool
Let the peppers cool for 15 minutes or more. The recipe I linked to says to place them into a container or sealed bag, I have never needed to do that. Once they have cooled, peel off the skins. They should slide off (this is where letting them cook long enough makes all the difference).
Step 6: How to Store Your Roasted Red Peppers
You did it! Now decide how you want to store them. I store half peppers as that is the way I use them, but two halves stacked in the same bag works equally well. Place peppers in an individual zip lock bag, seal it up, lay flat in your freezer and you are done!
Now don’t forget the most important step later on: eat them! When you are ready, simply remove them from the freezer, take out of the zip lock bag, place inside a folded paper towel and microwave on the defrost setting for about 30 seconds. Then come back and tell me how much you enjoyed them!