photo taken by bourgeoisbee, April 21, 2008, CC licensing
2 -3 large red bell peppers
2 large garlic cloves, put through a press or very finely minced
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
good red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
sliced scallions (both white and green parts)
half-sour or garlic dill pickles, sliced lengthwise
garlic dill tomatoes
Roast peppers: spear them with a long-handled fork, and roast like marshmallows over an open flame (a gas burner or outdoor fire). Or place the peppers on a roasting rack set directly over the flame. Keep turning the peppers until the skins are lightly charred on all sides. You can also roast them under the broiler. Place the peppers on a foil-lined rack under a preheated broiler, as close as possible to the heat source. Turn the peppers as the skins blister and blacken.
Put charred peppers in a paper bag and twist the bag closed, or put them in a covered bowl. Let them steam until cool enough to handle--this will make them easier to peel. Rub the skins off with your fingers. Don't worry if you don't remove every piece of charred skin--a few bits here and there will add smoky flavor. Although this is messy and the peel will stick to your fingers, I don't recommend peeling the peppers under water, as some suggest, because it washes away the flavorful oils, making the peppers soggy and flat-tasting. Instead, dip your hands into a bowl of water every so often or wipe them on a paper towel to clean them. Pull out and discard the stem, seeds and ribs.
Cut the peppers into thin strips and place them in a large, resealable plastic bag. Add garlic cloves, and season well with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and a little vinegar or lemon juice to taste. Let the peppers marinate, refrigerated, for at least 12 and up to 48 hours.
Bring the peppers to room temperature. Serve with scallions, pickles, dill tomatoes, and black olives as an accompaniment to roast or grilled meats.