Red peppers are roasted in various Mediterranean countries and added to different dishes to add that sweet, rich flavor that only roasted red peppers can provide.
In Greece, sweet long red peppers that are grown in Western Macedonia, known as Florina peppers, are traditionally roasted and sometimes stuffed with rice, pureed, mashed, or pickled, and integrated into several traditional Greek dishes.
They became so iconic in Greece that they were awarded the recognition of Protected Designation of Origin in 1994 by the World Trade Organization, which is celebrated annually in Aetos, Florina, in late August.
So, sweet long red peppers outside of Florina may be similar to the Florina peppers of Greece but must not be called that. Although you may not have access to Florina peppers from Greece, you will have access to other sweet red peppers. With this recipe, we will provide you the tricks to making similar versions at home.
Why Roast Red Peppers at Home
When I eat roasted red peppers, I am looking for that super soft, jammy, sweet caramelization that occurs during the roasting process.
Store-bought roasted red peppers are either pickled or contain an unnatural acidic flavor that overshadows the natural sweetness from the roasted red peppers. I’m not sure how they develop this strange flavor. Perhaps it’s the jar method of preservation or added ingredients intended to keep the roasted red peppers for an extended time.
Regardless, they don’t taste anything like Florina roasted red peppers. That’s a fact. Alternatively, in just 30 minutes, you can roast your own red peppers at home, creating these incredibly addicting flavors! No jarred peppers will compare after you try these.
How to Cut the Red Peppers
Cut the red bell peppers in half, lengthwise, remove the seeds and flesh, and slice them into 1-inch slices, lengthwise. Don’t slice them too thin as they will be prone to burning in the oven.
Coat the Red Peppers Evenly with Seasoning and Oil
Toss the red peppers in a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt, and ground pepper before adding them to a baking sheet. Ensure that each slice is well coated in all of the ingredients.
Use the Middle Rack in the Oven
We recommend using the middle rack in the oven to ensure the red peppers do not burn during the cooking process. They should blacken slightly around the edges but not burn. They should be soft and jammy when you remove them from the oven.
How to Eat Them
- Eat them on our Mezze Platter
- Stir them into a Pasta Sauce
- Serve them on a Chicken or Turkey Sandwich
- Fold them into an Egg Frittata or Omelet
- Embellish a Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Serve them in Chicken or Beef Tacos or Fajitas
Reheating and Storage
Store them in an airtight container or jar in excess oil in the refrigerator. They can be consumed for up to two weeks. To reheat them, place them in the microwave for 1 minute at 70%, until warm throughout.
Alternatively, you may also store them in vinegar, and salt in the refrigerator, which can be consumed for up to two months. Keep in mind that the latter method will yield a pickled version of the roasted red peppers.
- 2 red bell peppers or other sweet long red peppers, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- ground pepper
Preheat the Oven and Cut the Red Peppers
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Cut the red peppers in half lengthwise. Remove the flesh and seeds.
- Slice the red peppers lengthwise into slices that are 1-inch wide.
Season the Red Peppers
- Toss the red pepper slices in a mixing bowl with olive oil, salt, and ground pepper. Ensure the red peppers are well coated with all ingredients.
Roast the Red Peppers
- Spread the seasoned red pepper slices onto a baking sheet.
- Roast them for 15-20 minutes. Flip the red peppers slices on the baking sheet using a spatula.
- Roast them for another 15-20 minutes. Remove them from the oven when they are soft, jammy, and slightly blackened on the edges.
- Serve and enjoy.