Ring those sweet bell peppers, of course. Never mind about those leprechaun green ones, it is impossible not to be awed by the purple, gold, crimson, white, blue and sunset orange pepper rainbows spilled out over the farmers’ tables in our market. No matter the color, the perennial question remains: how could Peter Piper have picked a peck of pickled peppers? How did they get pickled if they hadn’t been picked already?
Technically, it is a chili (or a chile, or a chilli) and another member of the nightshade family as are the tomato, potato and eggplant. The chili was mistakenly, and expediently, dubbed a “pepper” by Columbus. After all he had been sent to find an alternate route to those precious spicy commodities of the Far East. From today’s perspective, it may be difficult to believe that wars were fought in order to more cheaply season European foods. On second thought, maybe it’s not so hard.
The sweet pepper and other chilies are fruits that are used like vegetables in the kitchen. The bell pepper is one that lends itself to stuffing well. Depending on your preferences, it is occasionally desirable to peel the thinnest outside layer of skin from the pepper before stuffing. Peeling the pepper will enhance the sweetness and meld the flavors more readily. Below are a couple of helpful links on how to accomplish this peeling. Some cut the pepper into wedges before the blistering, but it is not necessary. It is possible to blister them whole, then place them in a sealed plastic bag until cool enough to handle. The outer skin will slide off easily with the charring. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-peel-roasted-peppers-ho-108653 and http://www.theyummylife.com/roast_and_peel_peppers. You can find previous pepper recipes such as Pepperonata and Roasted Yellow Pepper Soup on the web site. Today’s recipe offering is a Farro Stuffed Pepper.