Roasted Long Hot Peppers

Jan 21st

I just researched for a whole five minutes on Google to give you the correct name of this pepper, but “long hots” will have to suffice along with the picture below. Long hots seem to show up at most of my Italian family’s events and there’s no end to possible uses. Not sure if it’s a regional (Philly) thing, an Italian thing, or if it works family by family, but I’ve been cooking them a lot lately and I wanted to share my crazy easy method with you!

If you don’t like spicy things, just stop reading now. The heat varies from pepper to pepper, but prepare yourself for the worst as to avoid a scary surprise. I’ve been working on my husband’s spice tolerance since we first met, sneaking crushed red pepper into our dinners in increasing amounts. He still sweats when he eats these long hots, but it’s a happy, “bring it on” kind of perspiration – much like a boxing bootcamp class. On Christmas Eve I put out a big plate of long hots with focaccia bread as a sort of starter for the holiday soup. My in-laws (parents and brothers) came to the house before my Italian side, and I wasn’t sure if they’d attempt the peppers. I’m running around trying to get pictures of my child in her dress and since she LITERALLy never stops running, it took me a few minutes. I turn around and to my great surprise, the peppers were GONE. Tommy says, “what were those and are there more”. The English/Irish/Scottish folks like the peppers!

With this easy oven method, I’ll buy peppers in bulk and keep them in tupperware in the fridge. I’ve now topped fish, chicken, salads, and pizza with these peppers. A fun snack-y dinner option we occasionally do is fresh Italian bread, olive oil, balsamic syrup, long hots and sharp provolone or parmesan cheese. It’s happy eating and a GREAT change of pace – perfect for a weekend night in.

I buy these peppers at Gentiles in Newtown Square (you can get a giant bag of them for 2 bucks), but I have seen them in the grocery store. They might be labeled “frying peppers”. I’d love some feedback here – do you eat long hots? Have you seen them in your grocery stores? Have you used them in a way I didn’t list here? Fill me in!

*This is more of a method than a recipe, which is why I don’t have specific amounts below.

Roasted Long Hot Peppers

Long hots, stem trimmed off

Olive oil – enough to thoroughly coat each pepper

Kosher salt

Garlic cloves, optional (unpeeled)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

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2. In an 8 inch square or 9×13 inch baking pan (depending on how many peppers you have), toss peppers in olive oil and spread in an even layer in pan (no overlapping). If using garlic, simply give the papery cloves a good smash – they will be imparting their essence here, and you will remove them before serving/storing. I would use 4 garlic cloves per 10 peppers.

3. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt.

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4. Roast peppers for 35-40 minutes, or until completely softened and starting to turn golden brown.

5. Cool for ten minutes before serving, or cool to room temperature and store in air tight container in the fridge, up to two weeks.

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