About This Recipe
There may be no more profound culinary alchemy than the transformation bell peppers undergo after getting a serious char, whether under a broiler or over an open flame. They abandon their crunchy, watery, raw nature, becoming sweet, velvety, and full of umami. They’re sublime.
This flavorful side dish is an antioxidants extravaganza. Bell peppers are rich in antioxidant vitamins C, E and carotenoids, which are beneficial for eye and heart health, and may even help fight cancer. Capers and red wine vinegar are also antioxidant-rich foods, that may prevent or reduce cell damage and help build immunity.
- 4 large (about 28 oz / 800 g) red or yellow bell peppers
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 3 Tbsp (45 ml) red wine vinegar
- 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp (6 g) capers
- 2 garlic cloves
- Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1Light your grill or turn on the broiler in your oven with a rack about 6 inches (15 cm) below it. If you’re using a grill, let the coals get hot and spread them out into an even layer. Place the peppers on the grill or on a baking sheet under the broiler, checking them regularly. You want the skin to blacken — not just a little, but a lot — on the side facing the heat before you rotate each pepper onto the next side.
Step 2Continue with each side until they’re nice and dark all the way around. This should take about 20 to 30 minutes total.
Step 3Put the peppers in a bowl and cover for 20 minutes or so to let them steam. Remove each pepper from the bowl and make a cut in the end opposite from the stem, letting all the gorgeous juices flow into the bowl. Put the peppers on a cutting board and, with the blade pointed away from you, drag your knife sideways along the length of each side, peeling the skin from the flesh. This should happen easily. Trim off the stem, scrape away the seeds, and cut the pepper flesh lengthwise into strips about 1 in (2.5 cm) wide.
Step 4Put the pepper strips in a clean bowl. Pour in the roasted juices (use a strainer to catch seeds and bits of skin) and add the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, and capers. Grate the garlic into the bowl using a microplane or mince it finely and add it. Add about 1/2 tsp salt and several generous twists of pepper, toss well, and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, or vinegar as desired.
Step 5These can be served immediately, but if you can, let them rest overnight in the fridge to marry and deepen the flavors.
Level Up: Grow your own peppers! Make your own vinegar!
Try It With: These are astonishingly good in sandwiches, or as part of an antipasto spread with grilled eggplant, carciofi alla romana, tapenade, crusty bread, and some cheeses
Zero Waste: The charred skins and seeds can be dehydrated and ground into a seasoning powder