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Recipe: Homemade Roasted Red Peppers (no open flame needed)

In a city where oven/stove combos often can’t accommodate a 9” x13” pan and saying “I have limited counter space” is often a gross understatement, roasting red peppers over an open flame is almost laughable.  But don’t fret, it can still be done!  You might be scoffing but this is one ingredient that is absolutely worth the extra work.

Jarred roasted red peppers can be very expensive and they start to breakdown, to physically fall apart.  I love the fresh smokiness of a recently roasted red pepper, the sweetness, and the bright, beautiful colors.

If you have a gas stove: simply get a pair of tongs or a fork and hold the pepper over the flame, rotating it until all the skin is charred.  Once it’s done, seal in into a plastic Ziploc bag and let it sit for 5 minutes (it’ll steam itself).  You can peel off the skin more easily when it cools off.

If you have an electric stove: Preheat your oven to 325F.  Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  Sit the pepper inside the pan, turning it every few minutes.  If it begins to produce a lot of smoke, turn the heat down slightly.  It won’t char quite as well as if it were over an open flame, but once all the sides are cooked, place on a piece of foil in the oven until it cooks through, about 5 minutes.  Once they’re done, place in a ziploc bag for a few minutes and you’ll be able to easily pull the skin off.

Now you have freshly roasted red peppers! Chop some up and add them to eggs, or make a creamy whole grain salad, like the one below.  Farro is an Italian whole grain that comes from spelt, emmer, or einkorn – but those are trivial details.  Just grab any box of farro for this recipe.

Roasted Red Pepper Farro

Serves 8

  • 1 ½ cups farro
  • 1 bunch asparagus, roughly chopped
  • 2 roasted red peppers, chopped
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons chives
  • Salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add farro.  Cook according to package direction (about 30 minutes).  Drain well and place in a large bowl.  While hot, add the mascarpone cheese and season with salt and pepper.  Mix well until the cheese is fully incorporated.  Set aside.

In a steamer or large pan, bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil and steam the asparagus until al dente, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the red peppers and asparagus to the farro, mixing well.  Sprinkle chives on top just before serving.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: 196 calories, 6g fat, 31g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 5g protein.  Each serving contains 3g of saturated fat, no trans fat, and only 16mg of cholesterol.  This recipe is a good source of vitamins A and C and manganese.

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