How to Roast a Bell Pepper

Posted by on Jan 16, 2013 in Culinary 101, Food Journal

How to Roast a Bell Pepper

How to Roast a Bell Pepper – (instructions with a video tutorial follow) – The other day my husband and I were driving home from our daughter’s ballet practice and I saw a sign for a farmers’ market that read “$10 for 60 pounds of produce”. I do enjoy going to farmers’ markets, but on this particular day, the kids were a little extra tired and needed to eat and so on and so forth so, we drove home. Well, after about five minutes of being home, my curiosity got the best of me and we loaded up the mini-van and headed back to the farmers’ market – yes, I have a mini-van, and, it’s awesome! So, anyway, we got there like ten minutes before they were supposed to be closing up – they were already kind of packing everything. I walked in and paid my ten dollars and I asked the lady “How do we know when we hit the 60 pounds”? And she said “We don’t care, (big smile), just take as much as you want, cases if you want”. And I was like “Really? Cases”? And she was like “Seriously, take as much as you want”. So the next thing I know, I have my poor husband digging through flats of grape tomatoes to find the best one and then pushing a cart around. Not like a shopping cart, but the kind that’s for moving refrigerators and stuff like that. I ended up leaving with a case of watermelon, a flat of grape tomatoes, quite a bit of squash….I don’t know, some other stuff, but most importantly, bell peppers. Twenty five pounds of bell peppers. And they are beautiful – still. I have some of them sitting next to me as we speak. Then on the way home, my husband reaches into the case of bell peppers and takes one out and takes a big ole bite of it (like it was an apple). I look at him like he’s crazy (like most people would although I guess you eat them raw on a veggie tray anyway). And then, he holds it in front of me and is like here try it. So, I take a bite and much to my delight, it was the sweetest most yummy bell pepper I have ever had. Yay! So of course I got all excited to get home and cook with them, which I did. But then, I started realizing that we had a lot of bell peppers to go through. The point is, the next few recipes that go on my site are going to involve roasted bell peppers and I don’t want to start every recipe with how to roast a bell pepper because that could get boring, so I thought I’d do a culinary 101 for everyone on “How to Roast a Bell Pepper”. Also, I’d rather everyone actually roast the bell peppers then buy them in the jar. It’s not hard, you’ll see.
Red Bell Peppers on a Sheet Pan

red bell peppers, that’s it

red bell peppers roasting under the broiler
1. Place your bell peppers on a sheet pan (cookie sheet). If you don’t have a sheet pan, you can use a casserole dish or a roasting pan, it’s no big deal. Also, get out a large bowl, not one that will melt, but either stainless steel or a glass one along with some plastic wrap and set them to the side.
2. Put the pan of peppers under the broiler in the oven. They should be on the top rack of your oven unless they touch the heating element in which case you’ll need to put them down a rack lower.
3. Keep the oven door open just enough where you can look in. Most ovens have a spot where the door will stay  around four or five inches open. The point of leaving the door open is more so that you don’t forget about your peppers in there because it’s easy to walk away for too long. So, don’t walk away, stay there and baby-sit a pepper-sit, your bell peppers. steaming the skin off of roasted red bell peppers in a bowl
4. When one of the sides turns black (the side closest to the broiler), turn the pepper a quarter of the way. Then, when the next side is black, turn the pepper by a quarter. Do this until the skin of the bell pepper is black all the way around.
5. Remove the bell peppers from the oven and place them into the bowl that you got out earlier.
6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap as fast as you can. We are trying to trap the steam from the bell peppers.
7. Let them sit in the bowl, covered with the plastic wrap for at least 15 minutes. You can let them sit longer if you happen to be doing something else, but I wouldn’t leave them for more then 40 minutes for sanitation reasons.
8. Remove one pepper from the bowl and place it on a cutting board or plate. Be careful because they are probably still hot or may have hot juices inside. I wear gloves for this part.
9. Gently remove the blackened skin. Then, hold the pepper upside-down and pull the stem off. When you do this, some juice and seeds will come out.
10. Open the pepper up and remove all of the seeds. Your pepper is now roasted and ready to use.
Keep scrolling for the video tutorial.

How to Choose a Bell Pepper
No matter what color bell pepper you are shopping for, look for peppers that have deep, vivid colors, are heavy for their size, have a smooth, wrinkle free texture, and only push in slightly when you squeeze them softly.

A little extra information on bell peppers
Bell peppers are fruits….well botanically speaking because they contain the seeds of the plant. However, as far as the kitchen goes, they are generally treated like vegetables. They originated in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America and made their way around the world from there on trade ships and such back in the 14 and 1500′s. Of course, they have lots of other names through out the world including capsicum and paprika. Bell peppers are a member of the Capsicum genus – Why do we care? Well, members of the capsicum genus produce the chemical capsaicin and capsaicin is the chemical in peppers that makes them hot. The higher the level of capsaicin, the hotter the pepper. However, bell peppers are the only member of the genus that don’t produce any capsaicin. So do we still care that they’re in that genus – a, yeah, now you can answer that question if you’re ever on Jeopardy or you can impress your friends at the dinner table. OK, so how about some nutrition facts. Red bell peppers are high in vitamin A and vitamin C, they have around 209mg of vitamin C compared to about 70mg in an orange. I should note here though that cooking will destroy at least part of the vitamin C. So, if you want to get all the nutrition, raw is better. Bell peppers are also high in carotenoids (a group of antioxidants) including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. There is a ton more nutrition information out there if you want it. The two links below have some great information, so check them out if you want to know more.

Links for more information

Please enjoy this how to video!

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