September 27, 2012

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper

One afternoon during the recording of my album, “The Low”, my musician pals Rob and Brian and I sat down to share the jam packed Italian sandwiches that I had made before the session.  Those hefty hoagies had neat layers of prosciutto, mozzarella, seared zucchini, Marinated Roasted Red Peppers, basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil on logs of crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside French bread.

We chewed quietly and happily on our sandwiches, our cheeks filled like those of chipmunks in Autumn.  It was a much needed break from tracking guitar and drums and it allowed us to snap back into recording mode with fuel in the tank.  I wish there was photo evidence of that lunch; one will just have to use one’s imagination. 

Marinated Roasted Red Peppers are a bright and savory option for sandwiches, salads, wraps or a snack all on their own.  It’s also fun to char a pepper on your stove top and fill your apartment with a pepper-scented haze.  If you have one of those roommates who despises food smells (what's up with that?), make this at a friend's place or better yet, move out.

Makes 1 pepper

1 red pepper, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
8 turns freshly cracked black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon basil or parsley, chopped

If you don’t have a gas stove, you can bake the pepper in the oven at 450 degrees until fork tender but still slightly firm and then skip to the directions in the next paragraph.  If you have a gas stove, place the pepper directly on a gas burner set to low heat.  Using tongs, turn the pepper to blacken the skin on every side, a total of 8 to 10 minutes.  The pepper should be wrinkly, lighter orange in color and mostly blackened.  Your kitchen might get a little smoky. 

Now wrap your cooked pepper in tin foil and let it steam in there for about 5 minutes.  This will help loosen the skin from the flesh.  Open the foil and rub the skin off of the pepper under cool running water.  Cut the pepper open, removing the seeds and stem and then cut the flesh lengthwise into 1 to 2 inch strips.

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic and herbs.  Pour the dressing over the peppers and let marinate for an hour or longer in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

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