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When you roast peppers it makes them sweet, soft, and tender—perfect for adding to salads, or for topping burgers, pastas, pizzas, and sandwiches. It’s also a super-easy but strangely satisfying kitchen task. It requires just a little oil and a lot of flame to do the job. Always an excellent way to spend an afternoon.

Sure they come in those expensive little jars in the supermarkets, but those peppers are often overly mushy and a little slimy. Taking the little bit of time it takes to roast your own is well worth the effort. This works with all sorts and sizes of peppers, from big bell peppers to smaller chilis and poblanos.

If you are firing up the BBQ grill, it’s easy to just brush whole peppers with oil and toss them on the grill. And there are folks who prefer to roast each pepper individually over the stovetop by holding a whole pepper over the flame with a pair of tongs until it blackens and blisters.

While we appreciate the primal appeal of both those methods and have been known to utilize them both, below is our preferred best basic method. It allows you to control the cooking so you don’t end up with blackened skins and raw insides. You can roast larger numbers of peppers at a time using our method, and by de-stemming and de-seeding the peppers first, you cut way down on the mess.

What you’ll need:

Peppers, olive oil, sharp knife, baking sheet, pastry brush, paper bag.

What to do:

  1. Preheat the broiler of your oven.
  2. Cut your peppers in half lengthwise.
  3. Remove the stems, seeds and ribs. To remove the stem, grab the tip, twist it, and pull it towards you. It should snap off easily. Pinch the ribs and pull out with your fingers. Then turn the pepper halves upside down and bang them against your cutting board and the seeds will fall out.
  4. With the pastry brush lightly coat the baking sheet with olive oil. Place the pepper halves, cut side down, on the baking sheet and brush them lightly on top with the olive oil.
  5. Place the baking sheet under the broiler. After about 10 minutes, the skins will start to blister and blacken. When they are evenly blackened and blistered, remove from oven.
  6. Using tongs, place the peppers in a paper bag and fold the top over to close. Leave to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. The peppers should be cool enough to handle and the skins will easily peel off.