My mother rarely ate bell peppers—green or ripe red—unless they were peeled. I vividly remember the day she discovered how easy they were to peel—and the added flavor—when they were roasted first. I use roasted peppers in pimiento cheese, Italian style as a salad, and in this delicious puree for fried bean or crab cakes.
First, roast the peppers by placing them in a very hot oven or by applying direct heat to them, preferably an open flame such as a charcoal grill or the gas flame on your stove top, or you may place them under the broiler of your oven. Roast them until the skin blisters and turns black, turning them with tongs as the skin chars. Burn only the skin—not the flesh—of the peppers. Place them in a paper bag and fold down the top for a few minutes so that the charred skins steam away from the flesh. After about 10 minutes, when the peppers have cooled somewhat, remove them from the bag and place them on a cutting board. Peel away the skins, then seed them by pulling the stem end away from the pod. The seeds will usually pull out from the pepper with the stem.
Add the scallions to the white wine in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and reduce by one half. Add the parsley and roasted, peeled, and seeded peppers and puree the mixture until evenly smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately.
© 1992 All rights reserved. Published by UNC Press.