As I get older, my cooking gets simpler. I find myself creating short cuts and innovations on recipes I created years ago, as a way to feed myself and friends more easily. Hankering for the flavors of smoky piquillo peppers I used to love in Spain, I did an extreme pared-down riff on Magic Peppers (Oven-Roasted Peppers With Many Flavors + Uses). In the new version, I quickly slice peppers into strips, toss them with garlicky olive oil and Pimenton de la Vera, sweet, smoky Spanish paprika and roast them hot until they caramelize and char. I often serve them as an appetizer with burrata and slabs of rustic bread. I make big batches for myself to eat as a vegetable or snack.
Slice off thick slabs of pepper flesh from stem to end around the core, leaving most of the white pith behind. Don’t worry how they look. I usually do 5 or 6 peppers at a time, to make about 3 cups cooked.
…Then a quickly slice the peppers into 1/4-inch-or-so strips with a chef’s knife…
Slice a couple of garlic cloves let them macerate in about 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil while you finish slicing the peppers…
Brush a large sheet pan with the oil, toss the peppers onto it, and use a brush or your hands to toss and coat the peppers with the garlic oil, tossing in the cut garlic cloves. Spoon 2 or 3 teaspoons of Pimenton de la Vera into a strainer and sift a fine dusting over the peppers, tossing them as you go. Then toss the peppers with salt. Shake the pan to settle the peppers evenly over it.
Roast the peppers in a HOT 450′ oven for 20 minutes or so, then toss them, moving the darkening peppers on the edges of the pan to the center. Cook them 10 to 15 minutes longer until they are caramelized, with just enough char to be delicious.
The peppers will cook down, losing at least half their volume, while concentrating their flavor. Six peppers will yield about 3 cups.
Toss them with a few drops of sherry vinegar brighten to lift the flavors.
The peppers are great eaten at room temperature, so you can make them hours ahead. You can warm them slightly before serving if you like.
4 replies on “Charred, Hot-Roasted Peppers with Pimenton de la Vera”
Looks delicious and such a pretty color.
Question. What is that skillet that you used for the shot and what type/make would you recommend for restaurant style cooking? I’m thinking about those light but very tough pans that you see chefs do that fancy food flip on. A pan that is durable enough for a restaurant or a very enthusiast cook that has a high heat gas stove.
Thanks as always for what you bring to us.
Hi Vaughan, The skillet used in the shot is a French copper one my mother gave me many years ago (every year she gave me one piece of her collection). I don’t use it much for cooking; more for heating things and serving them, though I do use copper saucepan’s all the time. Copper is sublime to cook on. The downside with my pans is the need to have them retinned every decade or so. Retinners appear to be a dying breed and I haven’t yet tried doing that myself.
Are for “real-life” high heat cooking I can recommend two lines:
I’m a big fan of All Clad as their pans are made of sandwiches of different metals that are highly conductive of heat yet avoid scorching. They have a lifetime warranty and do seem to last forever. I’ve had mine for many years. I’ve taken them up on their warranty on their non-stick pans, which do inevitably degrade, and they honor it.
That said, I’ve been moving away from non-stick because of the scary health issues with their coatings. Lately, I’ve been testing out DeBuyer Mineral B Carbon Steel skillets which are widely used in restaurants. If you treat do the initial seasoning and don’t wash them with soap, they will form a great, natural nonstick finish. They are not as heavy as cast-iron. Good value and indestructible. Highly recommended.
Thank you Sally!
I have one All Clad and it does seem indestructible. It’s big and not used much except for large meals.
I use a lot of cast iron, that’s my favorite but it’s getting heavier and heavier it seems as the years go by…
My two copper pans need retinning. Not sure where/how to deal with that.
I’ll check out the DeBuyer Carbon Steel. Sounds like that might be what I need.
Best to you and appreciate all the info.
If you can, I recommend actually holding the pan before you buy it OR buy one that you can return. Everyone has their own sense of what feels right. For me, the weight of classic cast iron is inhibiting when I’m cooking, as I like to move skillets around and toss the food in them easily by “jumping” the pan. the DeBuyer works for that, as do the All Clad 9″ and 12″ skillets (they don’t, however, achieve that natural nonstick surface).