Monday, August 20, 2012

Fire Roasted Marinated Peppers

I love fire roasted red peppers. When peppers are in season, I love roasting them myself. It's one of the reasons I love having a gas stove. And I absolutely adore pickled green peppers.

I decided to combine the two. First, fire roasting. Then a little dance with vinegar and salt. And finally, a swim in oil. I considered adding some herbs - oregano, maybe. Or thyme. But I decided to leave the herbs out to make the peppers more versatile.

The result? These have a little tang from the vinegar, but they're not as pickled as my usual pickled peppers, but they have a bit more sharpness than a typical roasted pepper.

What would I use these for? For salads (and the oil for a vinaigrette) or for an antipasto, or for a garnish on deviled eggs or an accent on cheese and crackers. They could be chopped for use in a pimento cheese spread or added to a sandwich. Or you could cook with them.

Or, if you're me, you'd eat them straight from the jar when no one's looking

Fire-Roasted Marinated Peppers

5 bell peppers I used (2 red, 2 yellow, and 1 purple*)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Olive oil (or other oil of you choice) as needed

Roast the peppers over an open flame, turning as needed to char the skin on all sides. Or, you can char them under the broiler. You don't need to get every bit of the skin blackened, but you don't want huge swaths of uncharred skin. don't forget the top and bottom of the pepper.

When the peppers are well-charred, put them in a plastic bag or in a covered bowl. This will help the peppers steam which will make the peppers easy to peel. Them them cool until they're easy to handle, then peel the skins and remove the stem, seeds, core, and ribs. It's fine if a few bits of skin remain, but get as much off as you can.

Slice the peppers into strips, and pack them into a pint jar or similar-sized storage container. Add the salt and vinegar, cover the jar, and shake to combine. Let it rest at least 30 minutes, shaking now and then so that all the peppers get their time in the vinegar. You can let them sit longer and they'll absorb even more vinegar flavor - your choice.

Drain the liquid from the jar and add oil, to cover the peppers. Run a skewer or thin knife down the sides of the jar to get all the air bubbles out. Refrigerate until needed.

Depending on what sort of oil you use, it might solidify at refrigerator temperature. This isn't a problem (except for emergency snacking). Just bring the jar out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature and the oil will melt again.

*The purple pepper had green flesh, so it looks green in the jar.