Jul 22, 2012

Roasted Red Bell Peppers with Mozzarella

From the kitchen of: Isabel  Makes: 3-4 servings
Total time: 5 min to prep, 45 min to roast plus 1-2 hours to marinate

Jared’s mom came into town for her birthday not too long ago. She loves visiting us in Richmond. But just between me and you, I think it’s because of the food Richmond has to offer! Just kidding, Barbara! Either way, we wanted to take her out to dinner to someplace we knew she would love. Richmond is a mecca for good eats. It was hard to narrow it down, but ultimately we decided to go Italian. Now, the tough part, deciding which Italian restaurant to go to. Drum roll please. We decided on Edo’s Squid! So that’s a no-brainer for a lot of Richmonders. If you haven’t been there yet, shame on you! Go call them now and reserve a table.

This recipe I’m showcasing today was inspired from the appetizer we ordered at Edo’s Squid. It was simplicity at it’s best. It was roasted red bells peppers marinaded in olive oil served with the freshest mozzarella. The sweetness and delicate flavors in the peppers paired so nicely with the mozzarella. We all loved this combination of flavors and I knew this was something that could be made ahead of time when throwing a dinner party. This dish is what I love so much about Italian/European cooking. It’s just a minimal amount of ingredients that allows the food to really shine.

2 red bell peppers
1 ball of fresh mozzarella
olive oil
garlic powder
salt + pepper

1. Roast red bell peppers.
Preheat oven to 350Âș. Meanwhile, rinse and pat dry the red bell peppers. Place the peppers on a medium tray with sides because juices will release from the peppers. Coat the peppers with some olive oil and season with a few pinches of salt. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes until skin is wrinkled and blistered.

2. Skin and de-seed red bell peppers. Remove the roasted peppers from the oven and immediately cover the tray with foil. The steam will help loosen the skin of the pepper. After 5 minutes, uncover the tray. On a cutting board, remove the skin and de-seed the roasted red bell peppers. Cut the peppers into quarters.

3. Marinade peppers in olive oil. Once the peppers are completely cooled, place in an air-tight container. Add more olive oil just to cover the peppers. Allow the peppers to marinate at room temperature for 1-2 hours. If done the day before, place in the fridge. To serve, cut thick slices of fresh mozzarella and place them on a serving plate with the marinaded peppers. Drizzle a little more olive oil and season lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Can be served with warm, crusty bread and kalamata olives.

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