The Italian antipasto dish of Roasted Red Peppers is a perennial favorite, but the preparing them can be a bit time-consuming, especially the fiddly task of peeling the skins after roasting.
Today’s dish of Marinated Sweet Peppers is a bit simpler, with three different sorts of bell pepper being flash-fried at high temperature to yield a similar smoky sweetness, and then marinated, with the skins still remaining, in a garlic and herb infused oil. The result is an appetizer style of dish that is terrific served with nothing more than crusty bread.
For this recipe, I am using 3 colors of bell pepper; red, orange and yellow. You can use any combination you like, or just one sort alone, but I would avoid the green sort as the color just won’t survive this type of treatment and will end up an unappetizing dull grey-green.
You first want to slice your peppers in thin strips. To cook them. You want to heat a pan over a very high flame, brush the bottom with a light meat of oil, and then add the pepper strips when the pan just starts to smoke.
Don’t overload the pan, but instead work in batches so that you don’t end up steaming rather than flash-frying. It will only take 1 to 2 minutes to cook a small batch and you should remove each batch to a dish once they start to lightly blister and show some dark spots appear here and there.
Afterwards, sprinkle the strips with a pinch or two of salt and then pour over a few tablespoons of white wine. Allow this to sit for a couple of hours, then drain and pat the strips dry.
For the marinade flavoring in this recipe, I am using a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh garlic, a tablespoon of fresh thyme, and some cracked black pepper. I have also reserved a sprig of thyme to add to the marinating dish after I prepare the oil. You can, of course, vary the herbs or other seasonings to suit your mood.
You can use any good quality oil you like for his dish, about a cup or so will suffice, and olive oil is a good choice. The Extra Virgin variety I have on hand is quite dark and very strongly flavored so I am actually mixing it half and half with peanut oil for a lighter result.
When you are ready, heat the oil in a pan over low-medium heat and then add the flavorings. Be careful of the heat and cook just long enough to soften the garlic without browning it, and to allow all the flavors to permeate the oil.
Finally, let the oil cool down and then pour it over the pepper strips in a suitable dish and cover. Place in a cool place and allow to marinate for a day or so before using.