Use It Up–Peppers and Cherry Tomatoes

Use It Up posts are intended not as recipes, but as suggestions and idea generators for specific leftovers. Follow the Use It Up tag in the sidebar for more. 

Tomatoes and peppers seem to get me every time. I shop with the best intentions, fully believing I will bump up my vegetable intake with sliced fresh peppers or cherry tomatoes at breakfast or lunch every day. Whether because I’m too rushed, too lazy, or too forgetful, I never seem to live up to the promises I make on shopping day, and find myself too often with slightly wrinkled peppers or rapidly softening tomatoes. 

My solution? Roasting. Not only does roasting keep these foods out of the green bin, it makes them easier to incorporate into meals with no chopping required when I need them on the fly for an omelette or a wrap. 

If you’re in the same predicament as me, you can use the same solution. I typically have small amounts of both so, rather than turning on my oven, I use my toaster oven. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you’ll have to use your full size oven; to be efficient, perhaps do this on a day when you’ve already heated it for something else. I’ve also heard that you can roast vegetables in an air fryer. (Links below.)

Roasted Sweet Peppers

It takes some time, but roasting peppers is fairly straightforward. Use red, orange, or yellow. (You can use green as well but they are not as sweet so you will have a different flavour which may stand out if you mix them with the other colours.) 

Line a baking sheet with parchment and preheat your oven to 450F. Cut the peppers in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and membranes. Place them on the prepared baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes. The peppers should be fork tender and the skin should be blistered and blackened all over.

Roasted bell peppers.

Remove from the oven and place in a paper bag or in a bowl with a lid or plate on top. Leave them until they are cool enough to be handled. Remove to a cutting board, peel off the skin, and serve. You can also store them in the fridge in a covered container for about 5 days. 

(Here are the steps for doing this in an air fryer.)

Roasting Cherry Tomatoes

I haven’t specified any amounts here because it all depends on the number of tomatoes you are roasting. You just want to be sure the tomatoes are coated in oil but not soaking in it. And a little salt goes a long way. 

Preheat your oven to 375F. Wash and dry your tomatoes. Cut them in half then toss with olive oil and a bit of kosher salt. You can also add some chopped garlic or Italian seasoning to enhance the flavour. Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them though because they will break down faster if they are particularly ripe. I find that mine sometimes stick to the pan, so I give them a gentle stir as needed. 

Tomatoes roasting in a toaster oven.

Note that this will yield “burst” tomatoes that still have a lot of moisture. I found another recipe that results in a drier roast. I haven’t tried it, but it looks really good. You can find it on the Love & Lemons website. (Here are the steps for roasting cherry tomatoes in an air fryer.)

Bell pepper image: 103916638 © Pleshko74 |

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