Picking the Perfect Peppers
Which Peppers do you Pick? Red, yellow, orange or green?
Did you know that green bell peppers are just un-ripe or immature red peppers? Green peppers cost less at the grocery store because they are not ripened as long on the vine, they travel well and last longer on the shelf. Red peppers risk more damage and waste due to rain and pests. Did you know that Peppers are actually the fruit or berry of the plant?
Peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin A and C. Green peppers contain the least amount of Vitamin C and yellow peppers have 3 times more Vitamin C than red. Peppers also contain some iron, calcium, potassium and B vitamins.
When buying your bell peppers select those that are feel firm and solid not soft and wrinkly. They should be heavy for their size. Avoid those with cracks in the skin, bruises and soft spots.
Peppers should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag to prevent moisture loss.
Cutting: There are several ways to cut a bell pepper depending on what you are using it for. You can cut off the cap to stuff it and cut out the ribs and seeds and shake them out. If you want perfect julienne strips, cut off the cap and end, make one slice in the body to open it up, lay it down on the counter and carve off the ribs and seeds then slice into thin strips. Push out the stem from the cap and eat the top and bottom.
Roasting: Place ell pepper on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and place under broiler. Turn them regularly as they brown and blister. Place peppers in a glass bowl and cover with saran to allow them to cool and the skin to steam and loosen from the flesh. When cool, the skin will slip off, just rinse off any seeds and use in pasta sauces, on pizza or in paninis.
Peppers can be used in stir fry, in omelets, on pizza, in pasta, on salads and just as is. I like them on kebobs, as a dip and my favorite, roasted red pepper soup.