A while back we looked at a few different ways to roast tomatoes, including over dry heat on the stovetop. You can use this same method for roasting onion, garlic cloves, and whole peppers, which come in great for making roasted salsa and flavorful veggie dishes like roasted red pepper hummus.
Or, you can skip the pan altogether and roast your peppers straight over the open flame. You have to watch them a bit more closely this way, since you’ll be working with direct heat. But the flexibility and agility of the flame is more apt at evenly charring the outside of your pepper than the flat, rigid pan, which isn’t always the best match for the shapely curves and grooves of chiles.
To roast peppers over a direct, open flame:
- Let them sit comfortably right on the grate of your stove or grill over medium heat. Walk away for a moment (but keep your eyes on that flame!) and allow the skin to really bubble and blacken. It sometimes makes popping noises in the process.
- Use tongs to carefully grab and turn the pepper, so that a still-raw side is now facing the flame. Let it char and repeat, until the entire pepper is blackened and the skin appears papery.
- “Sweat” your pepper by placing it in a sealed plastic bag. Grocery bags do the trick, as long as the pepper is wrapped up and not exposed to any air. Allow the pepper to sit for about 10 minutes. You’ll notice condensation on the inside of the bag.
- Slide the charred skin away from the flesh with your fingers. Running the pepper under cold water helps speed up the process.
That’s it! The entire process from start to finish should take about a half-hour, which isn’t bad for fresh, home-roasted peppers. Their deep, sweet flavor is a great addition to pastas and salads—you can also try slicing them into thin strips and baking them on pizza or stuffing them into a sandwich.