It’s simple to roast peppers. Buy them when they are on special offer, roast a few at a time and store them in jar of oil in the fridge – they will keep for up to 2 weeks.
You have a choice of two cooking methods: you can roast the peppers in the oven or toast them over a gas flame. The gas flame method is quicker and you get a better flavour.
To roast peppers over a gas flame
Spear the whole pepper on a long fork or hold it with a long tongs. Hold the pepper over a gas flame until the skin is charred or sit it on top on the metal hob that covers the flame. Turn the pepper to make sure all sides are charred and remove it when the pepper is soft. You can also leave the whole pepper sitting on a metal diffuser on the gas ring, turning from time to time – it will take longer to cook.
To roast peppers in the oven:
Remove the top and bottom of the peppers, make a cut down the side and flatten the pepper out with your knife (a cleaver is great for this). Cut away the inner ribs and scrape away the seeds. Cut each pepper into three pieces and rub all over with olive oil. Lay the oiled pepper pieces on a baking tray, skin-side up. Place the baking tray in a 220C/425F/Gas 7 oven for about 30 minutes until soft.
How to Peel Roast Peppers
Put the hot peppers in a resealable plastic bag, close and leave for a minute or two, then remove and peel off the skin which should now be soft (if you leave a few small charred pieces clinging to the pepper, it tastes and looks better). Pour over olive oil immediately or use flavoured oils – the warm peppers will soak up the flavour. Season and eat immediately or leave to cool. Store the peppers in the oil, topping them up with more oil to make sure they are covered, cover and store in the fridge.
How to use Store Roast Peppers
Roast peppers keep a week or two, covered, in the fridge if you make sure they are covered with oil at all times. The peppers are good to eat after a week or two but the texture disintegrates over time. If the olive oil solidifies, leave the peppers out of the fridge to come to room temperature before serving.