How to Grill Peppers

To grill bell peppers, set them over a gas flame and turn regularly until the skin chars and is black all over (though not so burned that the meat of the pepper is burned). Wrap the pepper in a cotton tea towel or aluminum foil to steam, and when it has cooled, remove the skin, core and seeds.

You may also grill peppers under the broiler by setting them on a baking sheet lined with foil about 2 inches from the heat. Turn the peppers until they are completely charred, then remove from the broiler and wrap in the aluminum foil. When they are cool, peel and remove the core and seed. If there are stubborn bits of skin that remain, scrape the pepper with a knife -- don't rinse it under water, for you want to save the sweet, aromatic juices.

Roasted peppers can be used in innumerable ways. You can serve them as an antipasto by dressing them simply with extra virgin olive oil and making sure you have plenty of good, crusty bread alongside. Roasted peppers are delicious folded into eggs (along with some freshly toasted croutons), as a bed for fish cooked on the grill, layered between two slices of bread with mozzarella cheese, olive oil and dried oregano, or served alongside roast chicken. Roasted peppers are also great cooked with fresh tomatoes and garlic, then cooled and dressed with olive oil and served as an accompaniment to couscous.

If you have leftover peppers in oil, store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. One pound of fresh bell peppers will yield approximately 8 ounces of roasted peppers.

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