I picked plenty o' peppers
How many peppers did I pick this summer? Plenty! So many that I didn't even bother to count them. These are just a few of the beauties I pulled during my last visit to the community garden. The dark ones are Purple Beauty bells, which look almost chocolate-colored to me. (Then again, I see many foods through chocolate-colored glasses.) The red one is a Buran heirloom pepper.
This was my first year growing bell peppers and the results exceeded my expectations. Compared to the peppers I usually see in the grocery stores, my peppers were only about half the size, a little thinner, and slightly less sweet, but they were beautifully shaped and infinitely fresher than the ones I usually see on Aisle One. Furthermore, I didn't have to scrub them like crazy to remove chemicals; these were grown organically (as are all my veggie crops). I think the best part about them, though, was how wonderful they smelled while they were baking in the oven. A deep and warm peppery fragrance permeated the far reaches of the house as they cooked.
I made stuffed purple peppers filled with a mixture of cooked rice, sausage, garlic, onions, and chopped red peppers, all bathed in our homemade tomato sauce. Notice how the purple pepper pulled a fast one on me and turned green during the cooking process. I read in the current issue of Organic Gardening that one can prevent this chameleon-like change from occurring in purple cauliflower by adding a little lemon juice or vinegar while it cooks. I wonder if the same is true with purple peppers?
Pepper growing season in review:
I'll take the peppers, hold the chemicals, please
The Heat is On... the pepper seeds
Pluck, there goes the pepper blossom
First bell pepper
Sweet pepper crostini