Spicy roasted red bell peppers

Makes 6 servings

Serve these savory strips as an appetizer. They also are fabulous served on slices of grilled bread or layered in a sandwich. Or toss them with pasta to make an out-of-the ordinary side dish.

4 red bell peppers
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil + oil for brushing
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon grated lemon rind

Preheat the boiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Remove the stem and cut each bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard the seeds, veins, and stem. Place the pepper halves, skin sides up, in a single layer on the prepared pan; flatten each with the palm of your hand. Lightly brush the skins with olive oil.

Broil for about 10 minutes, or until the pepper halves are fork-tender and the skins are blackened and blistered. Immediately transfer the pepper halves to a zip-top heavy-duty plastic bag and seal; set aside until cool, about 10 to 15 minutes. (The steam will loosen the skins.) Remove the pepper halves from the bag, reserving any juice; peel and discard the skins. Cut the pepper halves into ½-inch-wide strips.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add the bell pepper strips, red pepper flakes, and salt; cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the reserved bell pepper juice and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated lemon rind. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


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