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Roasted Red Peppers

6 fresh ripe red peppers, choose smooth, flat, least twisted ones
1 tbsp. best quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, optional

Wash the peppers well, core them and remove seeds. Cut them
top-to-bottom into sections, slicing along the highest point of
each lobe (so the "valleys" between lobes come in the middle of
each sliced section). Flatten them out as best you can. Get the
broiler going. Line a cookie sheet with foil and lay the peppers
out, skin side up. (You will probably need to do them in batches.)
Locate the cookie sheet under broiler so that the peppers are no
more than 2-3 inches from the flame. Broil until the skins turn
black all over (move them around as necessary). When they're done,
put them in a sealed container and let them cool. Save any juices
remaining on the foil.

When all the peppers are finished and cool, peel off the blackened
skin and slice the peppers into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Toss
them in a bowl with the olive oil and any reserved juices. If you
have good quality balsamic vinegar, add 1/2 tsp. or so. Serve at
room temperature.

Note: you can also puree these to make a truly wonderful sauce
for pasta, salmon, etc. It freezes well, too.


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