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Perfectly roasted peppers on the grill

Home-roasted peppers not only provide fresh, rich flavor and savory aromatics, their taste knocks the lids off the jarred versions! 'Tis the season for grilling and for peppers, so stock up while these vegetables are at their best, and enjoy the added flavor dimensions that roasting on the grill instead of inside the oven produces. Your neighbors will be drooling in envy at the smell of grilling peppers wafting over the fence.

The way to achieve soft, smoky, flavorful roasted peppers is by slow grilling, completely removing the charred skins of the pepper, and not rinsing off the flavor after cooking. The following tips provide some simple guidance for easy roasting and skin removing.

First, prep your peppers. Thoroughly clean and dry the peppers of choice. Red Bell Peppers, Poblano Peppers, and Jalapeño Peppers are three popular choices and should be easy to find in local farmers markets and grocery stores. Place the whole pepper directly on the grill and char the heck out of it. This will take a little bit of time, so don’t be surprised if your peppers are still cooking away long after you’ve taken your other grilled items off to be enjoyed. The blacker and crispier the pepper gets, the easier it will be to remove the skin later. Rotate peppers to char on all surfaces.

Once the peppers are completely charred, place peppers into a sturdy gallon sized zip-locking baggie, seal it, and put it in the refrigerator. This causes the peppers to sweat out their steam, loosening the skin further, and cooling at the same time so peppers are easier to handle. After about 30 minutes in the fridge, the blackened skins should slide right off the meat of the pepper. Pull out the stem and scrape out the seeds, but don’t rinse the cooked peppers unless you have to, since this could rinse away some of the flavor.

Peppers can be sliced thin or used whole for a variety of recipes. Any unused roasted peppers should be kept in olive oil in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

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