Peppers and Fire

Peppers and Fire

August 30, 2013
Photo by: Josh Endres

Nothing beats the flavor of a thick walled sweet pepper grilled to perfection.  When fully ripe, red bell peppers are sweet enough to eat out of hand, and when grilled they become the highlight of the meal.  When home grown, peak of sweetness occurs when green bells mature to bright red.  Pick them at the last minute to maintain flavor on the grill. When blackened by fire they are bright, beautiful and tasty.

Virtually all peppers lend themselves to grilling, but sweet bell peppers are the most widely available.  One of the best peppers for your grill is pimento, a medium sized variety traditionally used to stuff green olives.  Its super thick walls not only remain intact during the cooking process, it maintains double the flavor and moisture with a more appealing texture than a thin walled pepper.  Large red bell peppers whether organically grown or from the supermarket are a great choice for beginners.

To grill, simply wash peppers, remove all seeds and cut in half.  Then use a brush to paint them with a thin layer of olive oil on both sides.  Sprinkle with gourmet salt and pepper.  Lay the pepper on the grill with skin side down to hold the moisture inside as it cooks.  Once adequately charred, flip and gently cook the other side.  The finished peppers will flatten out nicely to layer onto a hamburger, blend into carne asada or add zest to your favorite meats.     

Next year, consider growing your own barbecue peppers.  You'll have enough to slice and freeze grilled left-overs for the taste of summer as the winter snow flies.