It’s been a really good year for peppers in the Meyers home garden. After several years of bell pepper experiments, we’ve settled on a few varieties that do very well in our garden: Park’s Early Thickset (hybrid), California Wonder (heirloom), Big Bertha (hybrid), Early Sunsation (hybrid), and Tequila (hybrid). All of these produce well and continue through October, and right now we are in the thick of pepper season. I’ve been cooking what we could eat and sharing extras with our friends. And one of my favorite ways to eat peppers is grilled or roasted. Yes, you can buy jars of peppers in a store—and in winter I keep a jar on hand—but if you have loads of them in your garden, try making your own. You’ll be very pleased with the flavor.
On a hot day, I like to grill peppers outdoors just to keep the kitchen a little cooler. This is probably the easiest, most efficient way to do the peppers because the juices drip down into the grill, making cleanup pretty easy.
If the weather isn’t cooperating, my second favorite method is to roast in the oven—the toaster oven. Yes, you can fire up the big oven, but the toaster oven is faster to preheat and cooks the peppers faster. Fast is good on a hot summer day.
And my third option is to roast or grill on the stove. You can use a large nonstick skillet or grill pan. Both work well, this method just takes longer and requires you to keep a constant watch. Using a nonstick pan makes cleanup easy, just run a little water in after the pan cools and it will loosen any bits left behind from the skin and juices.
No matter which roasting or grilling method you use, you’ll have some tasty peppers to peel and slice or chop for your favorite dishes, like my three favorites below.
- fresh bell peppers, any color
- extra virgin olive oil (only for storage)
- GRILL METHOD - Preheat the grill to medium high, about 400° F/200° C. Arrange the bell peppers on the grill with an inch or two between. Cook on each side until it blackens, about 5 minutes per side.
- OVEN METHOD - Preheat the oven to 400° F/200° C. Arrange the bell peppers on the prepared baking sheet with an inch or two between. Roast in the preheated oven until the peppers start to blister and blacken, about 15 minutes, then turn them over and roast until done, about 15 minutes more.
- STOVETOP METHOD - Warm the nonstick grill pan or saute pan over medium high heat. Add bell peppers, leaving a little room to turn and move the peppers around. Cook until the peppers start to blister and blacken, about 10 minutes per side, turning until they are cooked all over.
- PEEL - Place a glass pie plate on a heatproof surface, lay the cooked peppers in the pie plate, and invert the other pie plate on top. Allow to rest for about 20 minutes. This will steam the skins and cause them to release easily. Once the peppers have steamed and cooled, cut a slit in each and pull out the stem and seeds. Peel off the skin and discard. You can save the juices for use in a dish, or discard if you plan to store the peppers.
grill, oven, nonstick grill pan, or nonstick sauté pan
baking sheet lined with foil
two glass pie plates
If you plan to store the peppers, put them in a clean jar and pour in some extra virgin olive oil. The peppers keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.