August 03, 2010

Grilled Peppers: Easiest Side Dish Ever

In building our wedding registries, T and I have spent a lot of time fantasizing about how much we're going to grill when we move to North Carolina. We've registered for a grill, a vegetable basket for the grill, a set of tools for the grill, and a book on how to grill. Seriously.

Unfortunately, my last two apartments didn't allow grilling on the patio, and I'm frightened of the community grills my neighborhoods provided, so we've been grill-hungry for about two years now. 

So imagine my happiness living chez T's family, where the grill is on more often than it's off. I've started to learn a little bit about grilling as a result (such as how to...turn on a grill), and I've discovered the glory of cooking a whole meal on one surface. 

Getting a grill all fired up for just one component of a meal is a waste of gas/charcoal, and you're already going to be spending the time standing in front of the inferno, hoping your eyebrows don't melt away, so why not cook the whole meal while you're out there? 

To start, go out and buy some peppers. 

First, wash the peppers. Second, slice them lengthwise into roughly 1-1.5 inch sections, taking care to remove the pith and seeds. Third, toss the pepper slices in some olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. 

Fourth, put the peppers on the grill, and cook, flipping them over once or twice, until the peppers start to blacken at the edges and soften up a bit (should take about ten minutes). Fifth, serve the peppers with whatever else you're making. We had them with grilled swordfish and quinoa salad, and the flavor combination was fantastic.


I'm not crazy about raw peppers, but I looooove them grilled because the flavor becomes so much deeper. You can stick with just one color, if you're new to peppers or don't like the flavor of a certain color pepper, or you can pick a nice variety to make the side dish that much more appealing.

This also works with...pretty much any other vegetable, and most fruits. One of my all-time favorite summer dishes is grilled tomatoes--you cut them in half, horizontally, brush a little olive oil on the halves, and grill them, face down, for a couple of minutes, until the edges are black and the tomatoes are soft. The natural sugars in the tomatoes caramelize while they grill, and the flavor you get is out. of. this. world.

Can you tell I like grilling?

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