Published May 1, 1996.
After flaming, broiling, and baking dozens of bell peppers of every color, both whole and sliced, we find that slicing and oven-broiling the peppers yields superior results.
The typical restaurant method of roasting peppers involves charring the pepper on all sides over a gas burner, steaming in a paper bag, and then peeling away the charred skin. This can be a long and involved process.
Roasting bell peppers has become a very popular process for very good reasons. When roasted, sweet, crunchy raw red bell peppers assume a whole new layer of complex, smoky flavor. We wanted to find the best possible way to achieve tender but not mushy flesh, smoky flavor, and skin that would peel off easily.
We found that oven broiling is clearly superior to charring over a gas burner. But take care not to overroast the peppers. When the skin just puffs up and turns black, you have reached the point at which flavor is maximized and the texture of the pepper flesh is soft but not mushy. After this point, continued exposure to heat will result in darkened flesh that is thinner, flabbier-textured, and slightly bitter. Roasted peppers also need time to cool before handling, and steaming during this time does make the charred skin a bit easier to peel off. The ideal steaming time is 15 minutes--any less and the peppers are still too hot to work with comfortably.list of recipes