Roasted red peppers are one of the easiest and most adaptable ingredients you can have in your picnic arsenal.
They keep well, travel well and work well with so many dishes. They’re also delicious, are so good for you and come in a myriad of colours if you want to stray from classic red to brighten any picnic dish.
Whether you decide on the classic roasted red pepper or like to mix it up with some other sweet pepper varieties and colours, you’ll find roasted peppers brighten up so many picnic recipes you’ll always want to have some on hand.
When we think about the best picnic menu tips, robust vegetables for salads that travel well and platters always get a mention. Peppers, whether raw, roasted or grilled certainly earn their place in any hamper or picnic backpack.
How to Include Grilled Peppers in Your Picnic Menu
The ways you can incorporate grilled and roasted peppers into picnic menus are endless.
- Eat them stand-alone or as a side, especially the baby roasted sweet peppers which come in a bright array of colours. Simply drizzle with olive oil or even add a dash of balsamic.
- Incorporate into a Mediterranean style mezze platter with olives, bread and some robust dips like baba ganoush and hummus.
- Slice them into salads. They are a robust addition to any salad especially make-ahead salads.
- They are a great accompaniment to main dish salads like our broccoli potato salad or spiced pumpkin quinoa salad.
- Sprinkle with olive oil, oregano, lemon and feta for a Greek-inspired roast pepper salad.
- Add them to sandwiches or use as a hamburger topping
- They are great chopped through quiches, vegetable tarts and frittata’s
- Make them into a dip of their own such as a roast pepper hummus
- Serve them as a side to grilled meats or whip up a simple roast pepper sauce. – Great with steak and marinated chicken dishes.
Can I Grill Peppers Instead of Roasting?
You sure can. Grilled peppers are pretty much the same as roasted peppers only cooked over a flame or under a broiler. Grilling peppers is sometimes faster than roasting and done over coals gives you an extra smokiness. Some people also prefer to leave the skins on grilled peppers, especially when grilling on a bbq.
Do I Have to Remove the Skin on Grilled and Roasted Peppers?
Removing the skin from roasted or grilled peppers is entirely a personal choice. I prefer to remove the skins unless I am grilling or roasting baby sweet peppers and serving them whole, then I leave the skins on as the skins are quite thin. Also, some coloured peppers tend not to peel as well such as green and yellow peppers.
Sometimes when grilling, the skins will be very charred so it is best to remove. If making a roast pepper hummus or roast pepper sauce, removing skins will give a smoother finish.
We give tips on how to easily remove skins in the recipe below.
How to Store Roasted Peppers
Roasted peppers are ready to use as soon they are cooked and skinned. However, if you have roasted up a batch, you can store the leftovers to use whenever you need them. Allow your peppers to cool before either storage method.
Storing Fresh Peppers in Olive Oil
To keep fresh peppers in the fridge:
- Place the peppers in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Pour olive oil over the peppers so they are completely covered.
- For maximum freshness make sure they are always submerged in oil.
Peppers stored in oil will impart their flavours in the oil which can be used to make salad dressing – no waste.
Roasted peppers will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week. Stored in oil – around 2 weeks.
Freezing Roasted Peppers
For longer storage, you can freeze your roasted peppers.
Lay them on a baking sheet/paper to freeze individually before transferring to a ziplock bag or freezer container so they don’t all freeze in one clump. Or just store them in individual servings in ziplock bags.
Roasted peppers will keep well in the freezer for up to a year. They will be safe to eat beyond this but will not be at their best.