Roasted Peppers and Garlic

24 Jun
Two of my favourite things together – a marriage made in heaven! Roasted peppers are so sexy somehow. Slippery and sweet, tangy and juicy. The garlic adds a hint of muskiness and that scentsational aroma is mouthwatering. I often serve these as a starter – but you could add them to sandwiches, salads, soups, pasta. They are a wonderful standby to have in the fridge. A jar of these can take you to wonderful culinary heights! I made them for a dinner the other week, and they were lapped up by the hungry hoards. They are satisfying, easy to make (fun too if you like playing with fire), and their taste is much more complex and deep then the rather minimal effort expended.
  • 4 – 6 red peppers
  • 1 or 2 green peppers
  • Paper bag
  • Tongs
  • Fire source
  • Cloves of garlic
  • Good olive oil (Extra Virgin if you have it)
  • A dash of balsamico if you have it
  • Fresh oregano or rosemary or thyme
  • Sea salt

Make sure you have access to a paper bag.

Basically you want to take the peppers, and char them over a heat source (I usually do this on the stove top) until they are completely blackened and burnt.

Use the tongs to rotate the peppers over the flame source. BE CAREFUL. They will pop and fizz and spit. Keep watch over them at all times.

When they are completely blackened, pop them in the paper bag, and twist the opening to ensure a good seal. When I made this recipe, I used a paper shopping bag and just folded over the top a couple of times. The peppers will steam in the paper bags and soften. After about 20 – 30 minutes, the peppers will be ready for the next step.

Meanwhile, heat your oven to approximately 180 C.

Put your garlic cloves in a small baking tray, and sprinkle liberally with olive oil and sea salt. Pop them in the oven and roast until caramelized, about 15 – 30 minutes depending on your oven.

Once the peppers are lukewarm, take them out from the paper bag, one at a time. Peel the peppers. The blackened skin should come straight off, but if you have problems, use a little strip of paper towel to rub off any pesky bits.

You should have some intensely deeply coloured smokey peppers ready for anything you want to throw at them!

Once your peppers have been peeled, core them, throw away the seeds, and cut away the stringy inner bits, and slice them in thin strips.

Put the sliced peppers in a bowl, and slick over with as much olive oil as your preference dictates. They will go all shiny and blood red or emerald green. A few drops of aged balsamico wont hurt either. Add a couple of teaspoons of fresh or a shake of dry herbs over this mixture.

Once the garlic has been roasted to your satisfaction (about 15 minutes or so – it will start to smell like roasted garlic) and is golden and soft, let it cool, slice it and add to the bowl. Don’t waste the olive oil either! Its been imbued with soft golden garlic scent and tastes – add this to your bowl of deliciousness too!

This keeps brilliantly in the fridge and is a magical addition to salads, sandwiches and pasta.

If youre serving as is, make sure you bring the mixture to room temperature before serving. The juice at the bottom of the bowl is phenomenal.

Photo copyright U-en Ng

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