18 September 2012

Time to roast peppers

Thanks to the dry weather, we're getting a little crop of red bell peppers this year. We have six plants, and we'll get 10 or 12 pretty peppers. They're good roasted, peeled, and de-seeded, and they freeze just fine. What we don't eat now we'll eat over the winter.

Four nice peppers on this plant
To roast peppers, you put them in the oven at 200ºC (400ºF) for about half an hour, until they collapse and the skin starts to darken and blister. Take them out and immediately put them in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap, a plastic bag, or even a paper bag. The residual heat will finish loosening the skin so they'll be easy to peel.

Only one pepper here, but a beauty

When the roasted peppers are cool enough to handle, peel them, pull them apart, and remove all the seeds and membranes from the inside. Pack the roasted pepper pieces in olive oil with a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice if you plan to use them soon. Otherwise, freeze them.

We also grew these long red peppers (they're sweet, not hot) this year.

Here's a link to a more detailed post about roasted ripe red peppers from 2009. The long sweet peppers just above are really good, by the way, but they won't stand up to roasting because the flesh is too thin.

How dry we are
Here are two pictures to show you how dry the back yard is after two months of minimal moisture. The dry conditions are good for the vineyard and the garden — grapes, tomatoes, and peppers are ripening without spoiling the way they might in damp conditions — but not very pretty to look at. The grass is really parched.


  1. Our red bell pepper plant produced only a few peppers, and they were very small, had very thin skin, and had very little flavor. I have no idea what are the optimal conditions for growing them-- do you?

  2. Judy, I don't know. Was it too hot where you are? That would be the big difference. Certain years, we get beautiful peppers.

    One year, it must have been 2005, I picked half a dozen or more one morning and put them on the table in the kitchen. My mother was here. I saw her examining them and asked her what she thought. "Are they real?" was her question. She could believe how perfect they were. This year's aren't perfect like that, but they'll be good.

  3. These peppers look beautiful. While I've started to learn about canning and freezing of vegetables, so far this year I've only done tomatoes. But with your suggestions, I think I'll do more peppers, which I'll have to buy at the farmers market since I haven't grown any. And this year red peppers are abundant and beautiful at the farmers market, unlike anything I've seen in my 11 years in Maine. Maine's climate is not hospitable to red peppers, since they take so long to fully ripen, and normally by the time they do it gets cold and windy and they rot or die. So farmers usually pick them green. But this year we've had an amazing growing season, with an early start, lots of sun, and enough but not too much rain. I've never seen so many red peppers here, and I've been buying far more than I can use. Now I know what to do with the excess. And by the way, I've been grilling them to get the skin off, as well as putting them right over a gas burner, and both work great. As does your method.

  4. Ken

    The peppers look perfect compared to what we are getting here ( same as your tomatoes shown awhile ago)

    I used to roast them whole as you do but these days I cut the pepper in halves or in quarters ( depending on their sizes), remove the seeds and membrane before they go into the oven. I find that it is less messy as far as i am concerned ( especially when I will use them right rightaway) when it's time to peel off the skin

  5. Beav, I'll try your method. But I'm skeptical. It seems to me that roasting the peppers whole, with seeds and membranes and all, might give better flavor. I don't mind the work of seeding and cleaning the cooked peppers, especially since I get all that pepper jus to go with them.

    Bob, I say buy the peppers and roast them. They are so good. Take advantage of that unusually good growing season. Here, it varies so much from year to year. 2005 and 2009 were very good years for peppers. 2012 is shaping up. "Burning" the skin on a grill or over a gas flame is a method I've seen done, but do you get the juice from the pepper that way?


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