My evening began with what has become a nearly daily visit to Fairfield Market, the new local grocery shop around the corner recently opened by the owners of Niagara Grocery. The shop has lots of organic and local produce and has quickly become my week day hot spot for last minute dinner needs and salad fixings. For three dollars, I picked up three soft red peppers to roast and marinate. They are tasty and convenient to have on hand for salads, sandwiches, pasta sauces or to snack on straight out of the jar.
You can buy jars of roasted red peppers but there's really no need because they are so easy to make. Slice the peppers in half, remove the seeds and char under broiler in the oven for 15 minutes or so. Toss them in a paper bag or pot with a lid and let them sweat and the blackened skins loosen. Then remove the skin and bottle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. They will last a couple of weeks in the refrigerator in a sterilized jar in their marinade, only getting tastier and tastier.
Later this evening I'm going over to a friend's house to kick the weekend off with a glass of wine or two and paired with some cheeses, salami and red wine, these peppers are going to hit the spot. It's a classic Italian antipasto that always goes fast because, well, who doesn't love roasted red peppers...
Marinated Roasted Red Peppers (serves 2-4)
3 large red bell peppers
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
pinch of red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste
Slice each pepper in half and clean out the insides. Place onto a baking tray cut side down and roast them in a hot oven under the broiler for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the skins are charred and blackened.
Once they have reached this point, take them out of the oven and place each half into a brown paper bag or something (pot, bowl) that you can place a lid on. Once the peppers have cooled and the skins have loosen, peel away the charred peel and slice into thin strips. Place them in a flat bowl, such as a pasta bowl, so the marinade will completely cover them.
While the peppers are roasting, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, ground oregano, garlic, chili flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Pour the dressing over the roasted peppers. Let them marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer before serving. When ready to serve, remove the peppers from the marinade and enjoy!