This falls into the almost no recipe recipe category, a happy place of familiar flavors and simple preparations where sweet red (or orange or yellow) peppers are slow roasted with optional onions, just a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sweet, satisfying, a surprise topping for salads, a ruby hued side dish, vegan on its own but also awesome on eggs, and -my favorite-a stuffing for acorn squash (check out this accompanying recipe not a recipe for stuffed acorn squash if you’re interested).
This is also part of what- I hope- will be a regular theme here where, just like in my favorite cookbooks, individual dishes are presented and posted with menu variations and accompaniments. So you can enjoy these balsamic roasted peppers on their own with the suggested menu items.
Balsamic Roasted Sweet Peppers and (optional) Onions Variations and Possibilities
Oh my Balsamic
- Balsamic Vinegars vary wildly in price and authenticity. I like to have an inexpensive one on hand and, if I’m lucky, a traditional, authentic, and much pricier one as well. I picked this one up at Grocery Outlet, it’s an IGP which is middle grade but is fairly thick and complex, definitely a step above my usual Trader Joes, which is also an IGP but thinner and less sweet.
- IGP? That’s the middle grade, not the real real deal but regulated and consistently good enough.
- This Food52 article gives a nice overview of the types of balsamic vingars and their ideal applications
- For a deeper dive into how balsamic vinegar is made and the various labels and styles check out this article on Serious Eats
- For these peppers I roast them with the thinner, less expensive balsamic vinegar and then finish them with a drizzle of the good stuff
Herb it up
The earthy and herbaceous notes of fresh sage go wonderfully with these sweet peppers but parsley and rosemary also work here (though go easy on the rosemary or mellow it out first by lightly sautéing)
Oven temperature and cooking time. Yes, even variations on how hot and how long.
If you want these as a quick side dish go ahead and bump the oven temperature up to 425-450 – just be sure to check and stir the peppers every ten minutes until done (this usually takes 20-25 minutes). But if you are doing other things, prone to being distracted, or need to cook something else at a lower temperature you can roast the peppers and onions at 350-375 for 30-40 minutes. You should probably still check every 15 minutes or so but nothing terrible (unless slightly unevenly cooked peppers falls in the tragedy category) will happen if you don’t.
How to serve the roasted sweet peppers
- As a straight up vegan side or add a crumble of feta cheese
- Atop a salad- arugula is particularly good.
- Minced and added to the filling for stuffed squash
- Atop a pizza
- In a sandwich
Balsamic Roasted Sweet Peppers and (optional) Onions
Vegan, simple, delicious oven roasted sweet bell peppers with a blasamic glaze
- Approximately half a pepper per person for large sweet bell peppers. I’ve been buying the smaller variety from the farmers market which have thinner skins.
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar per pepper for roasting plus more to drizzle at the end
- Enough olive oil to lightly coat the outsides of the peppers and toss with the onion 1/2 teaspoon, plus another drizzle to taste at the end
- Salt and Pepper to taste- not much just a pinch.
- Fresh herbs for the garnish Sage is best
Preheat oven to 375 (please see notes about oven temperature and cooking time)
Line a baking sheet or cast iron pan with parchment paper
Peel and slice onion into strips and toss with olive oil
Wash the peppers and cut in half, removing seeds and pith, lightly coat the outer skin with olive oil and then slice into strips.
Place the onion and peppers in the prepared pan and drizzle with balsamic (as noted above I use a less expensive balsamic vinegar for the roasting)
Roast peppers and onions for approximately 35-40 minutes, checking and tossing every 10-15 minutes, or until tender and just slightly browned.
Remove from oven and finish with a drizzle of balsamic (the better stuff if you’ve got it) and about a half teaspoon of fresh minced herbs per pepper.