I remember the first time I saw my then flatmate stick a red pepper on a knife and hold it over a gas burner. I thought she was insane, but she was actually just making roast red peppers for her Moosewood Black Bean Soup, a recipe those of us this side of the pond hadn’t heard of and would frequently fret that it wasn’t actually vegetarian. I must dig out the recipe soon and make it – just thinking of it now is evoking Tooting and evenings in the glass roofed dinning area at the back of kitchen listening to The Chemical Brothers.
My method of roasting these peppers involved sightly less open flame, but they are still the revelation roast peppers were to me that summer – I know they’ve gone out of fashion now but back then the smoky sweetness of roast peppers was exotic and part of the adventure of leaving Dublin and moving to London.
I put two whole long thin sweet peppers (though this works just as well with the more standard shaped ones too) on a tray in the middle of a pre heated 200C oven. After the top side starts to blister, I flip them over and put them back in again. Once the second side is blackened, I pull them out of the oven, leave them to cool for a minute or two and then peel the skin off. It basically comes off in one piece and the seeds inside come out pretty easily too. I try to remember to be gentle as the pepper flesh is pretty fragile but small pieces are just as tasty as big ones.
These peppers are going on pizza, which I was talk about later as I think I’ve made my perfect pizza sauce and I need to record the recipe.