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Marinated Roasted Red Peppers

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

There are many recipes that call for roasted and peeled peppers. Once you learn the technique, you will use it often. This version is quite basic and very versatile. Marinated peppers can be served as a side dish vegetable, a salad, an appetizer with crostini or bruschetta before dinner or on a party buffet, and as part of an antipasti platter. I prefer to use red peppers for this recipe, but you can use any color or mix of colors you prefer. This recipe can easily be made in any amount.

Ingredients

To roast the peppers, wash them but keep them whole. Place them on a very hot grill, in a grill pan or under the broiler and grill until charred on all sides. Place the hot peppers in a closed plastic bag or under a towel. Let them 'sweat' until tender and cool enough to handle. Remove the skin; it will come off very easily with your fingers. Cut open the peppers, remove the stem, core and seeds. Slice into 1-1/2 to 2-inch thick strips.

Place the peppers in a bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining ingredients. Go easy with the vinegar and oil and taste to adjust. It does not take much to lightly flavor and you do not want to overpower the flavor of the peppers. Serve at room temperature.

Notes: You can use minced fresh garlic, but I prefer the mellow taste of roasted with these peppers. To roast the garlic, remove the loose layers of peel, but do not peel completely. Cut the top end off of a whole head so that the garlic is exposed all over. Place on a piece of foil and drizzle with some olive oil. Close tightly and roast in a 350° F oven for about 50 minutes, or until the cloves are soft and golden. When it is just cool enough to handle, squeeze the garlic out of each clove. What you don't use can be refrigerated for several days. Use it in a sauce or salad dressing. Better yet, spread it on some toast drizzled with a little olive oil.