Bell peppers, also known as capsicums, are sweet-fleshed, bell-shaped members of the pepper family, enjoyed raw or cooked. Unripe green and ripened red or yellow varieties are the most common. Pale yellow, orange, and purple-black types are also available. Italian peppers are slightly sweeter and more slender than regular peppers. Before use, bell peppers must have their indigestible seeds removed. Often the peppers are roasted, which loosens their skins for peeling and enhances their natural sweetness.
To seed a bell pepper:
Cut the pepper in half lengthwise and cut or pull out the stem and seeds, along with the white ribs, or veins, to which the seeds are attached.
To roast a bell pepper:
Preheat a broiler or an oven to 500°F (260°C). Place the pepper halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet and slip under the broiler or in the oven. Roast until the skin blisters and begins to blacken. Remove from the oven and place in a paper bag or cover with aluminum foil. Let steam for 10-15 minutes, then peel off the skin using your fingers or a knife.