Bell Pepper Basics

Appears in
Get in There and Cook: A Master Class for the Starter Chef

By Richard Sax

Published 1997

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To core and seed: My favorite way of cleaning bell peppers (it wastes a little flesh, but it’s quick) is to cut the four “sides” away from the pepper, leaving the seeds attached to the stem. If there are any white ribs attached to the inside of the flesh, shave them away with a knife and discard them. Then go ahead and cut up the peppers as directed in the recipe. If cutting into slivers, cut each quarter in half crosswise, then thinly slice each piece, forming short, thin slivers.

To roast and peel: Roasting bell peppers heightens their sweet flavor and loosens the skins for easy peeling—no chewy little bits of skin. Preheat a broiler and place the peppers on a broiler pan rack or baking sheet lined with foil. Broil 4 to 6 inches from the heat, turning the peppers occasionally with tongs, until the skin is blackened and blistered on all sides. Place in a closed paper bag or loosely cover with aluminum foil. The hot peppers will continue to steam, loosening the skin even more. When cool enough to handle, cut the peppers in half through the stem ends. With your fingers or a paring knife, remove the stem and then scrape away the seeds with your fingers or the tip of the knife; cut away the ribs. Peel off the skin with your fingers or the tip of the knife. Now you’re ready to proceed with the recipe.