When it comes to food there is nothing better than simple and delicious!
Roasted peppers are one of my favourite and easy vegetable dishes. I usually use bell peppers in red, orange and yellow. I’m not a big fan of green bell peppers unless they’re in a stir fry with lots of onions and beef or chicken. Hmmmm now I’m hungry for fajitas!
Shepherd peppers are different from bell peppers in that they are long and much larger. They have a much sweeter, juicier flavour and a thinner skin (which you can peel off when you roast them). They are so easy to work with — you can roast them like what I’ve done with my recipe, below. You can chop them up for a salad or slice them perpendicular to the length and eat them raw or with a dip, like hummus or baba ganoush.
This the time of year for Shepherd peppers. I remember many years ago learning how to make ajvar, which is a traditional Serbian red pepper spread or sauce. Little did I know that I would be roasting bushels of peppers on the BBQ for a couple of hours. Then we had to remove the skins by hand and then grind the peppers with a meat grinder. I had red finger tips for days!
Next we cooked the peppers in two large stock pots on the BBQ. We had to stir continuously, for what seemed like hours, so that the peppers wouldn’t catch on the bottom of the pots. The process took the entire day, but this was a tradition in my friend’s family.
I’m not sure how many jars or ajvar we made that day, but I’ve never had a store-bought ajvar taste as good as what I helped make that day. Unless someone invites me to another ajvar canning session I’m happy to make to with my simple and easy roast Shepherd peppers.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. This makes it easier to clean the pan and to remove the peppers without them sticking.
Wash the peppers and cut off the green stems at the top. You can remove the seeds or leave them in. When the peppers are cooked you can easily remove the seeds with a fork.
Lay the peppers out on the pan and drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Put the pan on the top shelf of the oven and roast at 375°F for 20-30 minutes.
Check the peppers at the 10-minute mark. They should be starting to "blacken" on the top. If yes, then turn them over and cook for another 10 minutes or until they look like the picture above. You don't want to burn them, but blackening the skin gives them a wonderful flavour.