Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Is it just me or is there something exceptionally cruel about going back to work after a long weekend? I definitely have a case of the Muesday’s today. Fortunately, M and I booked a much needed weekend away in June so we are looking forward to that, which will quickly be followed by a very long four day weekend for Fourth of July. We celebrated this weekend by cutting out of work early on Friday and bringing the dog up to our local wine bar to sit outside and enjoy the weather. Saturday, M was still feeling under the weather, so I spent the morning walking around the Farmer’s Market and Clarendon and then M joined me in the afternoon for a late lunch at Faccia Luna. We followed that up with gelato because ice cream and the start of Summer just work together. Sunday, friends invited us over to barbeque and asked that we bring a “Summery app.” They later confessed that only I could be tasked with such a request because they knew I would deliver. I thought long and hard about what to make…truthfully, this appetizer works year round but the addition of fresh basil makes it exceptional in the Summer. The peppers can also double as a fantastic burger topping, if you want to get extra fancy. I suggest making this in advance as it does tend to be a little bit labor intensive, but if you are tight on time, you can cheat and use store bought roasted red peppers.

Wash your peppers. I used 5 peppers for about 12 adults and there weren’t any leftovers.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Place one pepper on each of your gas burners. (You can do this without a gas stove — place the peppers under a broiler or on a grill and follow the same directions.)

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Turn your burners on high and allow the peppers to char.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Keep turning them until they are charred on all sides. You can stand them on their head and tail (carefully) to get the ends.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Immediately remove the peppers from the stove and place them into a brown paper bag. Close the bag. (You can use one large bag instead of the lunch size, we were out.)

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

While the peppers cool, make your marinade. In a large glass dish, combine two tablespoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of lemon juice and balsamic vinegar, two minced garlic cloves and a tablespoon or so of Italian seasoning.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Once the peppers have cooled enough to handle, rip open the bag to form a placemat of sorts. Trust me on this one, it’s about to get messy.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Take a paper towel and rub the char off your pepper. Do not — I repeat — do not run the pepper under water to remove the char. You lose all of the flavor which is the point of the roasting.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Once your peppers are clean (they don’t have to be perfect), they should look something like this:

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Now it’s time to make them look pretty. Cut out the stem and attached seeds.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Slice the pepper down one side along a ridge and open the pepper up.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Trim off the white membrane. At this point, you have a choice: you can leave the curled parts on or trim them off. I trim off the ends — DO NOT throw them out. Toss them in your marinade and use them for a salad or in pasta.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Slice the peppers down the ridges and place them in the baking dish of marinade.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Turn to coat and let them sit in the fridge for a few hours.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

When ready to serve, arrange the peppers on a serving dish.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Top each pepper with a slice of Parmesan cheese (I ran my vegetable peeler down the cheese to make thin strips). Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar.

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

Repeat with remaining peppers and top with thinly sliced basil. Season with salt and pepper and serve!

Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

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8 Responses to Marinated Roasted Red Pepper Appetizer

  1. Ellen Fink says:

    Looks very yummy. Will have to try.

  2. […] Now, don’t get me wrong, M will raise a regular ole beefy hamburger with the best of us, but he’s definitely opened my eyes to other burger possibilities. About a year ago I tried my hand at making homemade turkey burgers for the first time. (There us something about the frozen kind that is really unappealing to me.) My turkey burgers came out good, but not something I was dying to repeat. I was content with the occasional burger out, or as mandated by certain holidays. […]

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