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Marinated Roasted Red Peppers

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

There are many recipes that call for charred and peeled peppers. This one is very basic and versatile. Once you learn the technique or roasting peppers, you will use it often. Marinated peppers can be served as a side dish vegetable, as part of a salad, such as the antipasti listed in the similar and related recipes, or as an appetizer or party food to top crostini or bruschetta, also in the similar and related recipes. I prefer to use red peppers in this recipe, but any bell pepper or combination of peppers works equally well. This recipe can be made in any amount needed.

Ingredients

Wash the peppers and leave them whole. Place them on a very hot grill, in a grill pan or under the broiler and cook, turning occasionally, 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 and remove the stem, core and seeds. Slice into 1-1/2 to 2-inch thick strips.

Place the pepper slices in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. (Go easy with the vinegar and oil. Taste and adjust as needed. It does not take much to lightly flavor and you do not want to overpower the peppers.) Serve at room temperature.

Notes: You can use minced fresh garlic, but I prefer the mellow taste of roasted for this presentation. 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. Place on a piece of foil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Close tightly and roast in a preheated 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 do not 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.