Easy Ways to Make Your Peppers Last All Year
As this year’s pepper harvest bonanza continues, it seems hard to imagine that in a few short weeks they’ll all be gone. Sweet Cubanelles, mild Anaheims and piquant Poblanos to the now mature and spicy Padrons and Jalapenos, I’ve grown accustomed to throwing some variety of pepper into practically everything I cook. It puts a whole new twist on many of my standbys, which is one of the many pleasures of cooking in the season.
But, it’s also nice to extend the season for enjoyment later, so I decided to stock up on an a diverse assortment of sweet and spicy peppers. After all, our freezer is not quite to capacity, especially after I pull out a few choice gems that have been there – ahem — awhile (like the pristine little tub of Thanksgiving gravy and a jar of last summer’s roasted tomatoes lurking deep inside), there will surely be room for a few small packages of lusty fried peppers. They’ll be just the thing to spice up some mid-winter meals or put a little spring in our step come April.
Even if you don’t like things too spicy, a little hot pepper perks things up nicely and fried or roasted sweet peppers meld silkily into steamed rice, pasta sauces or curries. The other night I stuffed a random assortment of peppers, they were growing a bit wrinkly on my counter, into a whole chicken destined for our charcoal grill. Those peppers deliciously perfumed the chicken with their smoky flavors as it slowly roasted. I imagine they would also be a pretty divine addition to a grilled cheese.
If you don’t have a nice pile of peppers adorning your kitchen counter, don’t despair. That late September sun has kept the fruits coming and we’ve still got a good harvest left to pick, including the not-to-be-missed Jimmy Nardello. This sweet Italian frying pepper is a favorite around here and worth seeking out wherever you are. Even if you’re peppered out, treat yourself to a bag or two of these beauties now to enjoy later. You can roast or fry them in olive oil to toss in the freezer, make peperonata that will disappear so quickly you’ll wish for more.
Or use them in a zesty Romesco sauce that will be so wonderful you’ll want to top everything with it. Whether you like them sweet or spicy, want to enjoy them now or later, there’s sure to be a good spot for a few more peppers in your kitchen.
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