Date Night and Roasted Red Peppers

Date night doesn’t need to be elaborate. Back in graduate school, my husband (then boyfriend) and I used to do ‘fancy’ homemade pizza for date night. We always had fun going to the market and picking out various interesting veggies, cured meats and cheeses and then just as much fun working together to put all the toppings on the pie.

All in all, you can spend time actually talking and interacting with each other for a while before snuggling down on the couch to watch a movie (in silence).

We have kept up that tradition since finishing school and I still get excited for it! :-)

We made pizza this past week and since it was the last time we would be having a date night 3 months [he left for his temporary assignment abroad :-(] I wanted to try something different and roast our own red peppers for the pie.

Roasting bring outs a sweet, warm and slightly smoky taste (from the charring of the skin). It is so good and perfect for any type of Italian inspired meal. Or just snacking!

 Roasted Red Peppers

Start with 2 large red bell peppers, washed, and crank up the broiler to 450°.

Place on a foil line baking sheet and brush with vegetable oil. Don’t use olive oil, as it has a lower smoke point and is likely to burn and taste yucky.

Place on the top rack of the oven, just under the broiler and let the snap, crackling and popping begin.

Once the skin is well blistered on one side, turn the peppers and place back under the broiler. Continue this until all sides of the peppers are well roasted.

Remove from oven and put the roasted peppers into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let steam for 15 minutes, uncover and let rest for 5 more minutes.

 

The peppers should have cooled down a little bit so you can touch them. Using a paring knife, cut around the peppers’ stem, then pull it out with your fingers.  Pick the pepper up and hold it over the sink, stemside facing down. (CAUTION: Hot juices may run out of the pepper here, be careful)  Starting at the top, gently grasp the pepper and run your hand down, squeezing slightly. Most of the seeds will come out and the skin will come off.

Lay the pepper onto a cutting board and cut through just the top layer, lay open like a book. Scrape out any remaining seeds with flat back of your knife. 

Resist the temptation to rinse the pepper to get all the seeds off.  If you do that, all the roasted flavor will be washed away!!!

 

Peel off any remaining skin. Slice into strips. We put a whole pepper onto this delicious pizza!

Pizza with hot cherry peppers, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, pepperoni and sliced mozzarella

I saved the other pepper in a container topped with olive oil to use at a later date.

You may store peppers in oil, if desired

 

Enjoy!

Daily Question: Do you have a simple yet fun date night tradition?

- Erin :-)