Almost anyone who enjoys cooking and considers themselves a “foodie” will tell you that while taking the right shortcuts in the kitchen is not only encouraged but can be necessary due to space and time constraints, there are some things that are just not the same unless you make your own. I would argue that roasted peppers are one of those things. This might be because I like my peppers softer than the ones you find in the jars, but regardless, these are so easy to make that I can very rarely come up with an excuse not to do the roasting myself.
There are several methods you can use when roasting your peppers, but the overall principal remains the same. Roast the pepper until the skin turns black and can be peeled away. That’s pretty much it. I’ve roasted peppers on my bbq grill, in my toaster oven, in my conventional oven, and even directly on the burners themselves. (You can blame my mother for that one. She once told me a story where she said she and my grandmother used to roast peppers over the gas burner like marshmallows when she was a kid.)
During these colder months, the broiler can be your best friend. Wash and clean your bell peppers. I would I suggest using any color other than green. In fact, you can mix colors for a prettier presentation if you are so inclined. Place the whole pepper under the broiler and watch it as the skin starts to bubble up and turn black. Once it is black on one side, rotate the peppers until they are black all around.
Once the peppers are roasted to your liking, you can either try to peel it while it is still warm, or wait for them to cool. I personally like to wrap the peppers in some foil until they are cool enough to touch but still warm. Then, when I go to peel them and remove the core, all I need to do is pull on the stem and pretty much everything comes out of the middle. You might need to scrap the pepper a little with a knife to remove any stray seeds or patches of skin. Lastly, dress the peppers with some thinly sliced garlic, olive oil, and some salt before serving.
I prefer to slice my peppers into strips and eat them either in sandwiches or just with some great crusty bread. I always serve roasted peppers with antipasto and will sometimes add them to my bentos. But as I said in the beginning, using great fresh peppers to make your own are so much better than those you find in a jar.