Red Pepper Leather

Here are seven, well-loved red bell peppers. It’s been fun, red bell pepper party, but it’s time for you to go… into our mouths.

I started with a cookie sheet.

Then, I lined it with parchment paper and threw a wire rack on top.

I hate to break up this gathering, but…

I started cutting into the bell pepper around the top area, where the stem connects.

Once I had finished the top “circle” cut all the way around, I used the pairing knife to gently pop out the stem.

Delightfully, that maneuver took out the majority of the seeds. There were some left in there, but I didn’t stress over them. They worked their way out.

It’s like a cave in there… my mind was racing with ideas for this curious, cavernous space that needed to be filled. …And then I woke up from my idea-fest, and started slicing the pepper open, section by section. I used the white part of the interior flesh as a cutting guide.

The chunks of peppers came out to 3 or 4 pieces per pepper.

Three to go…

Now we’re talking.

I arranged all the pieces on the wire rack.

While the peppers were enjoying their child’s pose, I popped open some cloves of garlic, and interspersed them into the mix. (The garlic is optional. I’m going to use the roasted garlic later in another recipe!)

Here is where the patience starts. Up to this point, I may have spent five minutes worth in preparation. I put the peppers in the oven at 250 degrees for four hours (could be up to six.) On days like these, any secondary “space heater” is a welcome addition in our home! After the first hour in the oven, the smells start to become intoxicating.

You’ll know they’re done when they’re chewy and nearly dried out. I had to test a few along the way…

As they dry up in the oven, the flavor becomes sweeter, more concentrated and a bit more intense. They’re not spicy at all! The peppers are like candy, and they retain their brilliant red color throughout the process.

Some of the bigger pieces beg to be stuffed with something more… maybe a white-bean hummus? Or maybe they’re just begging to be diced up with some olives and spread on day-old rustic toast. How about blending them with a bit of garlic into a full-flavor pasta sauce? Perhaps they’ll want to take a dip into some eggs in the morning. Mmmm…We shall see.

Well, there you have it.

Red pepper leather. Maybe one of the tastiest little snacks on planet earth. And well worth the wait!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=119400478 Sean Durbin

    I had the pleasure of trying these, they were delicious and surprisingly sweet! I like the idea of dicing them with olives and spreading it on toast, that sounds mouthwatering! This is Rachel by the way, I couldn’t figure out how to login as me.

  • http://artandtable.com Katrina

    Hey Rachel! Ooooh… I like the olive idea a lot!