For those of you following along with our series, you`ll be expecting a post on what many consider the holy grail of dinner preserves – the almighty tomato.  If you`re expecting that today, you`ll have to come back tomorrow – we`re throwing a bonus in; a quick piece on preserving roasted peppers.

Roasted red peppers are one of the great secrets of our tomato sauce – they are added at time of cooking and one of the easiest things to preserve in the world.  I adore how fast they are to process and that I get to use a BBQ in the process.

Creating slices is much more time-consuming.  We generally preserve a pulp that can be added to sauces, soups, tops of pizzas.  The flavor is intense and subtle all at the same time.

Here`s the deal:

  1. Turn BBQ on max
  2. Place whole hot peppers on grill – we don`t even remove the stickers
  3. Char, burn and blacken the peppers
  4. Place them all in plastic bags and wait to cool (I grill more peppers at this time)
  5. Remove the skin (gloves will speed up the process as you`ll be able to start peeling while they are marginally hot)
  6. Blend peppers
  7. Pour single portions in freezer bags (i.e. ziplocs) (you could use muffin tins to be more sustainable)
  8. Freeze and use in next 12-18 months.

There`s much more detail (and many more stunning pictures) in a full-post we did on preserving peppers in the fall).  Other preserves we add to tomato sauce (at meal time) include wild leeks and Garlic Scape Pesto.

2 or 3 years ago we decided to skip the peppers in the late summer as we had some in the fridge.  This was an error we regretted through the winter.  One of the greatest tricks to awesome tomato sauce is having some other `secret`additions up your sleeve to help tweak and change your sauce through the long winter.

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