I picked up some beautiful little peppers at a local farm this week. They are called lipstick peppers. They're small and very rojo! They are in the pimento family and the farmer told me they were very sweet. I decided to roast them on the grill. I often make roasted peppers, but usually under the broiler in the oven. I'll share both methods with you here.
On the grill
Heat up the grill to medium high. Place the raw whole peppers on the grill and close the lid. Check on them every few minutes and turn with tongs to char them evenly on all sides. When peppers are blackened on all sides, remove them from the grill.
In the oven
Turn the oven to broil. Place the peppers on a cookie sheet or baking pan and broil on the top rack. Turn peppers frequently to char them evenly.
The next steps are the same with both methods.
Immediately place the hot, roasted peppers in a covered casserole dish. Let them "sweat" until cool. The condensation will enable you to peel away the skins easily with your fingers.
When peppers are cool, remove skins, stems and seeds. Slice into long strips and place back in the casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil, add a couple of cloves of minced garlic, some chopped fresh basil, and salt and pepper to taste.
My Nonni would roast peppers by holding them with tongs over the gas flame of her stove, and them place them in a heavy paper lunch bag to sweat. You could probably roast these over an open fire while camping, too. Theres more than one way to skin a pepper. Whatever method you use, don't puncture the skin while they cook. It holds in all the sweet juice.
Roasted peppers are great in pasta sauce, in salads, antipasta, or on sandwiches.
I made a classic Italian sandwich with my roasted lipstick peppers, provolone cheese, and lettuce on a crusty rustic bread. And they were delicious. Not as juicy as red bell peppers, but a nice flavor and beautiful color. Here's a photo...look at those rojo lips smiling back at me. Mangia bene!