Peppers (bell peppers/capsicums) are char-grilled to enhance their flavour, with the heat caramelising the sugars. The blackened skin must be removed before eating. Put peppers in the flames of a gas element or over a barbecue grill and cook until charred, turning with tongs.
When completely blackened, transfer to a plate, cover with paper towels and leave until cool. Slip off blackened skin – easily done using paper towels – cut pepper in half and remove core and seeds.
Try not to pierce the skin or the delicious juices inside the pepper will pour out. It sure would be easier to wash off the blackened skin under running water, but doing this will wash away valuable flavour. Instead, wash your fingers from time to time to remove the build-up of sticky blackened skin. Conserve any juices and use in the recipe.
Char-grilled peppers can be kept for 2-3 days in a covered container in the fridge. To conserve for up to a week, pour extra virgin olive oil over peppers, cover and refrigerate; use the pepper-flavoured oil in dressings. Chilli peppers can also be charred in the same way.