This simple recipe from Mark Bittman's "Quick and Easy Recipes" is incredibly useful, easy to make and delicious. It keeps fairly well so you can keep it on hand all the time! If you're so inclined, you can flavor it with any number of herbs (thyme, basil and parsley are fine) or spices, like cumin or chile powder (or minced chiles). Bottled or canned pre-roasted peppers can be substituted for the peppers but the results will not be as fresh tasting. ----------->* USES * -- Add a couple tablespoons of puree to the cooking liquid of any simmering grain--rice, couscous, or quinoa, for example. -- Use in place of or with tomatoes in pasta sauce. For example, saute several vegetables and bind them with the puree during the last minute of cooking. -- Fold into omelets or scrambled eggs, with or without cooked vegetables. -- Combine with chopped fresh basil, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and minced garlic for a pesto-like pasta sauce. -- Emulsify with fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper to make a beautiful salad dressing. -- Spread on crostini or pizza before baking. -- Use as a finishing sauce for roasted eggplant, zucchini or other vegetables. -- Serve as a condiment with grilled or roasted fish, meat or chicken. -- Stir into soups or stews just before serving. -- Mash a couple tablespoons of puree, with a little olive oil, minced garlic and cracked black pepper, into fresh, salty cheese-like feta or goat-to make a dip for bread or vegetables.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Line a roasting pan with enough aluminum foil to fold over the top later. Put the bell peppers in the pan and the pan in the oven. Roast, turning the peppers about every 10 minutes, until they collapse, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven; fold the foil over the peppers and allow them to cool.
- Working over a bowl, remove the core, skin and seeds from each of the peppers, reserving some of the liquid.
- Put the pepper pulp in a food processor with about two tablespoons of the reserved liquid. Add a large pinch of salt and turn on the machine; drizzle the oil in through the feed tube. Stop the machine, then taste and add more salt and/or olive oil if necessary. Store, well-covered, in the refrigerator (for several days) or the freezer (up to a month).