The first skill I (Rachel) taught Lucy in the kitchen was how to roast a red pepper. It couldn’t be simpler, makes your house smell amazing, and, for whatever reason, impresses the shit out of anyone you invite over for dinner. While it is a piece of cake, we urge you to use common sense: you are working with an open flame and those tend to burn houses down if you don’t pay attention. Be careful. Tie up your hair, don’t wear some Stevie Nicks looking flowy sleeves, Do Not Leave The Room.
Thoroughly wash a red pepper. You could use orange, yellow, or green but, whatever you do, don’t forget to take off the sticker. Using tongs, place the pepper directly on a gas burner set to medium heat. In a couple of seconds you’ll start to hear cracks and pops and things will smell wonderful. Leave the pepper in that position until one side is blackened and use your tongs to rotate it slightly to blacken a new side. Continue this process until the entire pepper is charred— including the top and bottom!
TURN OFF THE BURNER
-If you have an electric range, you can still totally roast a red pepper but it’s going to take a little bit longer. Use your broiler (or grill! yum.) set to its highest setting and keep the door cracked so the broiler doesn’t shut off (also so you can keep an eye on it) and follow the same instructions.-
Still using tongs because that pepper was just essentially on fire, carefully place the pepper into any kind of bag. Paper will work fine, old produce bags are great; all we had laying around was a zip top bag and that worked nicely. Wrap the bagged pepper in a towel and let it hang out until it’s cool enough to handle. The pepper is going to continue cooking from the residual heat from roasting. Putting the pepper in a bag will capture the steam generated as it cools, and slightly separates the skin from the flesh, making it super easy to peel. Sticking everything in a towel will slow down the whole process to do a more thorough job.
Once everything is cool enough to handle, use a towel (paper or otherwise) to wipe off the charred bits of skin. You will be able to remove the stem and core with your hands, which is kind of cool and cathartic. Feel free to cut away any of the pithy white membrane, and be sure to give everything a good rinse. Serve however you want; it’s delicious on pizza, blended into sauces, and tucked into sandwiches.