This spread is a good candidate for preparing early in the day of the party, then refrigerating until it's time to pop it in the oven. Just before serving, sprinkle the top of the spread with minced fresh parsley or green onions.
Red bell peppers are actually green bell peppers left to ripen on the vine. They have more sugar than green peppers, so they're sweeter and slightly more tender. Sometimes a little chopped red bell pepper is just the right garnish for an appetizer or main dish.
Roasting peppers brings out their sweetness. Place whole peppers under the broiler or on the grill, turning the peppers to blacken the skin evenly. When the peppers have cooled, peel off the skin, remove the seeds and ribs and cut up the flesh.
Purchased roasted peppers, available in jars or by bulk in the deli department, come in two basic styles: those packed in olive oil and those in vinegar.