Sweet and Hot Roasted Peppers

Wondering what to do with all those sweet and hot peppers which ripen in amazing quantities at summer’s end? Try this mix of whatever varieties you have and serve warm as a side dish or chilled as a condiment, as sandwich or taco topping — or tossed into warm pasta for a fast supper.

* Supermarket-sized red, yellow or orange bell peppers to give sweetness, bulk and substance
* Hot and semi-hot peppers from the garden (I had serranos, poblanos, Thai super hots, Hungarian yellows, cayennes, Italian sweet marconis, and something called Italian Gourmet), adjusting quantities for the degree of hotness that you like.
* 2 heads of garlic
* Ample olive oil

Core and seed all the peppers and cut into thick strips. Chop the garlic coarsely.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Layer the chillis, bell peppers, garlic and olive oil in a shallow baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until the peppers are soft, 45 minutes to one hour. Uncover and continue to bake until the peppers are just slightly charred and very soft, about 45 minutes more. The oil from the peppers will mingle with the olive oil to make a lovely, beautiful preserve.

Serve immediately or put in a container and add enough additional olive oil to completely cover the peppers. They will keep in the fridge this way for about two weeks. And don’t discard the oil after the peppers are gone — it is delicious in its own right.

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