You will need to set aside a good 45 minutes to get these peppers completed – that does not include the time for the peppers to steam and rest after grilling. But, not be deterred, they get easier to make as you move things along. I explain to keep as much of the pepper oil as possible when prepping – be aware that some may have more oil than others – some might pop while they are on the grill or over flames, that is when the water may leak out, so don’t get too crazed about this prep being perfect. The final product may have a few seeds and remnants of charred or uncharred pepper skins – no big deal, they will taste just fine!
Organic Bell Peppers, 7-8 Med. Sized
Organic Garlic, 4-5 cloves
Organic Fresh Basil, ~ 2 cups loose leaves
Balsamic Vinegar, 2 ½ Tbs.
Olive Oil, 3 Tbs.
Kosher Salt, ¼ t.
Ground Pepper, 7-8 grinds
Aleppo Pepper, 2 pinches
Heat outdoor grill to about 400º F. Place peppers directly on grill bars – cook to char each pepper on all sides. Once each pepper is thoroughly charred, transfer to shallow dish, place the shallow dish in a paper bag and close tightly. This is how the charred skins will steam off or loosen up when you go to cut them up. Set aside for a good hour or so.
For an indoor range:
Char each pepper over a high flame – be sure to turn to char all sides. Once completed, follow the paper bag instructions above.
To make the peppers, you will be using either a metal or glass prep bowl. Remove the peppers from the paper bag. Using kitchen gloves and the back side of a knife, remove the charred skins. Retain all or as much of the oils from the peppers as possible. Oils from the peppers will be dark and a bit thicker than the water that can collect inside the pepper – go ahead and toss the inside pepper water. There may be a small puddle of pepper oil in the shallow dish, keep that and all that collects on the cutting board – pour it into the prep bowl as you go along. Once the pepper skins are skinned, cut them (if they haven’t already split in half) and deseed them as best as you can. A few seeds in the final mix is not do-or-die. Once deseeded, slice each pepper into long narrow strips about a half an inch thick and then across to halve the strips – scrape into prep bowl.
Chop the fresh basil roughly and swipe into the bowl. Mince the garlic. Add to the peppers. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and the Aleppo pepper. Mix gently and set the peppers aside – preferably on a warm stove or countertop. Let them marinate for a good four or so hours.
Serving suggestions are almost endless. Serve as an appetizer with crusty bread, or grilled bread. Serve with chicken, pork, or steak. Top your favorite wholegrain flatbread and top with crumbled feta or goat cheese. These are also perfect to top a veggie lasagna or toss with pasta and a protein. Any way you enjoy these delicious peppers, you and your family or guests will NOT be disappointed.