Sweet zesty marinated roasted red peppers are such a treat! And when you make them yourself, they’re extra fresh and much tastier than what you can buy commercially. These peppers are roasted and peeled then simply dunked in a vinaigrette and frozen until you’re ready to use them.
If you’re a gardener you may find yourself with a bounty of peppers at the end of the season. I usually do! This season I found HUGE gorgeous peppers at my farm market for an equally huge bargain and couldn’t resist.
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s a technique, not a set of hard and fast measurements. Most of my site is this way – procedures to adapt to your lifestyle and hopefully help make cooking a little easier and tastier.
This recipe can be made using any variety of thick-walled sweet pepper. This time I’ve used a combination of red and yellow bell peppers as well as some nice big Italian frying peppers. You can make this recipe using just a few peppers or like I did here, with 15 large peppers. Make what you can eat, store and have time for. I freeze these in packages of about 2-3 peppers each.
Roasting Red Peppers
The steps for preparing the marinated roasted red peppers are straightforward. Roasting, resting, peeling/cleaning and marinating. Only the roasting step changes depending on the heat source you’re using.
You can accomplish the roasting of your peppers in several ways. Directly on a gas burner, on a hot grill, or the broiler of your oven. The peppers need to be roasted using high heat until the skin blisters and chars. Important! The skin doesn’t need to be completely covered in black char, just as long as it has blistered and bubbled – otherwise, the pepper flesh will be overcooked.
Roasting peppers on a gas stovetop burner. I don’t have a gas stove at my house but I have roasted peppers on one many, many times. It’s very simple: Turn up the gas on a burner and set your whole unadulterated pepper directly on the burner grate. (NO oil, no seasoning.) With metal tongs turn your pepper as the sides contacting the burner char and blister.
Roasting peppers on a grill is much the same. Preheat your grill until it’s good and hot. Place your whole peppers directly on the grate and cook just until the skin chars and blisters, no longer. Keep rotating as needed.
Roasting peppers under a broiler is very handy, especially if you’re roasting several at a time. Place your peppers on a foil-lined (not parchment, unless you want the fire department involved) baking sheet and roast under your hot broiler until nice and charred. Rotate them on the sheet and pop them back in.
A smart person learns from people who haven’t been so smart in the past (who, me?) and stands in front of the oven, watching them through the door glass.
Resting the Roasted Peppers
Resting is a very important step! After roasting, immediately place your peppers into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or place in a sealed plastic bag. They need to be in a mostly airtight place for at least 15 minutes to steam as that steam loosens the skin, especially as they cool a bit.
You can let them rest overnight in the refrigerator if you like. The resting time is a great window of opportunity to make the marinade.
Cleaning and Seeding Roasted Peppers
This is very simple but can be a little messy. I clean them in the sink and keep a thin stream of water running. The skin will usually rub off easily, but sometimes the water helps to wash it away. I don’t let the skins go down the drain or the garbage disposal, but collect them in the sink and throw them away.
Don’t be too obsessive about getting every teensy bit of black char, little bits actually add to the flavor! As they are cleaned, I set them on a tray.
Lay the pepper on a cutting board and slice it lengthwise down one side with a paring knife and open it up. From there you can cut out the top and remove the seedy core mostly intact.
Lay the knife flat against the interior of the pepper wall and cut away the white ribs. Scrape any wayward seeds with the back of the knife. I then plop the cleaned & seeded peppers in a bowl.
I keep my peppers mostly whole or in large pieces; that way I have more flexibility when it comes to using them later on. Bits and pieces will either be put in with the larger pieces or be used up by themselves.
Marinate and Macerate
I’ve prepared a big batch of peppers here for the freezer, but you make the amount you like. Adjust your marinade amount to suit your needs. The marinade is simply a vinaigrette – and the leftover makes a terrific salad dressing or meat marinade.
The procedure is very simple. Stir together the vinegar and all seasonings until the sugar and salt dissolve, then whisk in the oil. I wanted to keep the emulsion of the vinegar and oil, so I whizzed all of the vinaigrette ingredients in my mini-chopper. That’s why mine looks light and creamy. It will eventually separate again.
Dunk the peppers one at a time in the marinade then plop the peppers into a container or bag. If you’re making a small batch, place them in a container for the refrigerator.
Mine are going directly into bags to seal up with my Food Saver machine. You can dribble in a little more marinade if you like. That’s all there is to it! Let them rest a day or two to macerate.
It is such a delicious convenience to just grab one of these packets of peppers from the freezer. It’s like a little bit of summer in the dead of winter. They thaw very quickly, too!
Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Serving Ideas
- Chop and add to pasta dishes
- Slice and serve atop seasoned ricotta on bruschetta
- Cook them up in a frittata with mushrooms
- Add them to a meat and cheese platter, or serve as an appetizer alongside The Best Basil Pesto
- Boost the flavor of soups and sauces such as red pepper alfredo or tomato soup with roasted red peppers
Marinated Roasted Red Peppers
- 4-6 large bell red peppers (or more!)
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- pinch red pepper flakes
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Roast whole peppers on a gas burner, a hot grill or under the broiler. Watch and turn them with tongs when the skin blisters and chars. Don't cook them until they're completely black over the entire surface, the pepper flesh will then be overcooked.
- Place roasted peppers in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or a lid, or in a plastic bag. This allows them to steam as they cool so the skins can be removed. Let them rest this way for 15 minutes or so.
- While peppers are resting, make the marinade. In a medium bowl, stir together all marinade ingredients except the oil. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour in the oil slowly while whisking vigorously to form an emulsion. Alternatively, combine everything in a small food processor or blender and whiz.
- Clean the whole peppers of their skins in the sink. Holding the pepper in your hands, peel away the skin, using running water if necessary to help remove it. It's ok to leave some charred bits here and there, it adds to the flavor. Set them on a tray or in a bowl as they're cleaned.
- To cut the peppers, work with one at a time on a cutting board. Slice down one side lengthwise using a paring knife. Cut away the top and the seedy core, as much in one piece as you can. Laying your knife flat along the interior wall of the pepper, slice away the whitish inner ribs and scrape the seeds away with the back of your knife. Leave them in large pieces or cut as desired. Place the prepared peppers in a clean bowl as they're ready, this way they won't pick up wayward seeds or skin.
- You can pour as much of the marinade as you like over your peppers in a bowl, or package them up in amounts you'll use and freeze them. (I prefer to pick up the peppers with tongs, slosh them around in the marinade then plop them into freezer bags, 2-3 per bag.) Before using, let the peppers sit at least a day in the refrigerate to macerate, or freeze immediately.
- The marinated peppers will keep in the refrigerator for a week or so, or freeze for several months – even longer if they’re frozen in a vacuum-sealed bag.
- The leftover marinade makes a terrific salad dressing or meat marinade.
- You can easily halve the marinade, change kinds of vinegar or oil, or adjust seasonings to your tastes.