Sweet Peppers come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Every pepper shown above is a sweet pepper. The colored peppers are the most sweet and green peppers are the least sweet. Each pepper is good for different recipes. Try them all! If a pepper is starting to show some color, watch it ripen on your counter top.
Peperonata w/Poached Eggs & Paprika Potatoes: serves 4
1/2 cup neutral oil, plus more for the peppers
1/4 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp tomato paste or 1/4 cup roasted cherry tomatoes
12 oz crushed tomatoes or any liquidy canned tomatoes
4 red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers, cut into strips
2 lb fingerling or Yukon Gold potatoes, about 1/2 lb per person
2 tbsp smoked, sweet, and/or hot paprika
1/2 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
2 quarts water
1/4 cup cheap vinegar
1 egg per person
1) To make the peperonata, in a medium Dutch oven or pot, heat a glug (2 tbsp) of neutral oil. Add the chili flakes to bring out their flavor. When they are fragrant, add the onion, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt and reduce the heat. Gently cook the onions until soft, scraping up any brown bits. Add the tomato paste and fry with the onions. Add the crushed tomatoes and peppers and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let stew until the peppers are tender and the liquid is reduced and silky, 25-35 minutes. (This may also be done in the oven if you already have it on, though it will take a bit more time.)
2) Boil the potatoes in salted water until fork-tender. Drain and allow to cool. (Potatoes may be roasted or mashed if you prefer.)
3) Toast the paprika in a small frying pan. When fragrant, remove from heat, add 1/2 cup of oil, and allow to steep for 10 minutes or so. Toss the potatoes with the paprika oil and parsley. (If mashed, drizzle over top.)
4) Combine the water, vinegar, and remaining 1 tsp of salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
5) Crack the egg into a bowl, slip the egg into the water, and poach until the whites are set but the yolk is soft. Lift the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon and check for doneness (whites should be firm).
6) Dish up the potatoes, top with the eggs and then the peperonata, and serve.
from Thug Kitchen
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped (optional...or use cutting celery and/or loveage instead)
1 carrot, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup pearled barley
1 tomato, chopped
2 tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 bell peppers, any color
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney or white beans (15 oz.)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1) In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts turning golden, about 3 min. Add the celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, and oregano and cook for another 2 min. Throw in the barley, tomato, and vinegar and stir. Add the broth, salt, and pepper and let it come to a low simmer. Cook uncover, until all the broth is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 15 min.
2) While the barley is simmering, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and scrape out any seeds. Place them in an oiled pie plate or loaf pan so they wont slide around once stuffed.
3) When the barley is done, fold in the beans and turn off the heat (the filling can be made a day or two ahead of time no problem). Fill the bell peppers up to the top with the filling, cover them tightly with foil, and bake until the peppers are tender, about 45 min to an hour. Let them rest 5 min after leaving the oven. Top with parsley and serve.
Simple Sweet Red Pepper Relish: Makes 7 1/2 Pints
3 1/2 Cups sweet red peppers
3 to 4 onions
1 tablespoon salt
1 Cup sugar (I like turbanado sugar; adjust to taste)
2 Cups cider vinegar (white vinegar will work, too)
1) Remove seeds and ribs from thick-walled peppers.
2) Run peppers and onions through food grinder (smallest knife). Measure.
3) Sprinkle with salt. Let stand 4 hours.
4) Add sugar and vinegar and cook until thick. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal at once.
from Martha Stewart Living December 2014
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup whole milk
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1/4 in. coins (optional)
3 Cubanelle peppers, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 lbs all-purpose potatoes (such as Russet or Kennebec)
3 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded (1 cup)
6 scallions, chopped (or 1 cup chopped onion)
1) Preheat oven to 350 with rack in upper third. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour; cook, whisking, 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth and milk; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat; season sauce with salt and pepper.
2) Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; cook sausage until browned, about 2 minutes a side. Transfer to a 9x13 baking dish, scattering evenly.
3) Reduce heat to medium, add peppers to skillet, season with salt, and cook until browned and softened, about 7 minutes. Add vinegar; cook 30 seconds more, scraping up browned bits. Spoon evenly over sausage in dish.
4) In a bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, scallions, and sauce. Add to baking dish in an even layer. Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes, then uncover and turn oven to broil; cook until top is well browned, about 8 minutes. Serve warm.
Sweet Pepper Sautee:
Adapted from Eating Well
*this is awesome as a topping for bruschetta, or pizza, or on some really good French bread, or as a side.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
6 red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into 2-inch slivers
oregano, chopped (dried oregano will work, too)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1) Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes.
2) Add peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in oregano, salt and pepper; cover.
3) Cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary so the mixture doesn't burn, until the peppers are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
How to Roast Sweet Peppers
1) Lay the peppers in a broiler pan, and broil until their skins blister (2-3 minutes or more...they should be fairly black for that smoky flavor).
2) With a tong or long fork, slightly rotate them and continue turning until the peppers are completely charred all over, then put them into a glass or metal bowl.
3) Cover the bowl with a lid or plate and the let the peppers sit for 15-20 minutes: the charred skin steams loose from the flesh.
4) Then open up each pepper, and discard the seeds, ribs and stem. Cut the pepper into quarters, and peel off the loosened skin with a knife (you may have to scrape for a bit).
5) If you have a gas stove, you could also char the peppers over the flame, or you can use an open grill.
Roasted Red Pepper Risotto: Serves 6 - 8
from Asparagus to Zucchini
2 large sweet red peppers
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
Juice of 2 small lemons
8 to 9 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
About 2 ½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
1) Roast peppers as described above.
2) While peppers are resting, chop onion, dill and juice the lemons.
3) After charred skins are removed from the roasted peppers, cut them into small strips.
4) Heat vegetable stock in saucepan over medium-low flame.
5) Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium flame. Add onions and cook until soft.
6) Stir in rice with a wooden spoon until all grains are evenly coated. Add dill and stir 1 minute, then add wine and stir until wine is absorbed.
7) Add 1 cup stock; stir until stock is absorbed. Continue cooking, stirring and adding 1 cup of stock at a time until the rice is al dente and “suspended in a smooth sauce”, 15-25 minutes.
8) Remove from heat; stir in lemon juice and red peppers.
Grilled Chicken Fajita Kabobs: Serves 4
For the Marinade
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (I usually just crush garlic cloves and put it in)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
For the Kabobs
1 pound chicken breast, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 onion, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3 sweet peppers (red, yellow, orange, green), cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1) In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.
2) Place the chicken in a sealable bag or container with the marinade. Seal the bag or container and make sure all of the chicken pieces are well coated. Place the bag or container in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.
3) When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Thread marinated chicken, onion, and peppers onto skewers. Discard leftover marinade.
4) Lightly oil the grill grate. Place the kabobs on the grill, cover, and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 8-12 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking. Transfer to a warmed platter and serve immediately.
**if using wooden skewers soak them in water 20 minutes before using
Cold Cucumbers and Cubanelle Soup with Cashews and Chives: serves 6
From Gourmet Magazine, 2009
3 large cucumbers (or 6 small ones)
1 Cubanelle pepper (Italian light green frying pepper), halved lengthwise and seeded
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1) Puree cucumbers and half of the cubanelle pepper (finely chop the other half to add at the end) with water, oil, cashews, vinegar, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender or processor until smooth.
2) Transfer to a bowl and chill until cold, about 2 hours.
3) Whisk before serving and season with salt and pepper.
**Soup is best on the day it is made**