Pick a Peck: It’s Time for Sweet Peppers


In my farmers’ markets right now, there are piles upon piles of peppers: Gypsy peppers, banana peppers, poblano peppers, and many unnamed varieties.

My challenge is that I do not like them raw and, even cooked, they are a bit hard for me to love.

I think that is because all year round, misguided restaurants put peppers in salads, in Thai dishes, in pastas, and on pizzas. My personal pet peeve is red pepper hummus and they seem to be the go-to garnish when the cook needs something red. Unfortunately, like every out-of-season vegetable, hothouse bell peppers flown from far away don’t have a whole lot of anything interesting to say.

Can’t we just boycott them except in the fall? And then celebrate them by including them thoughtfully in seasonal dishes? Let’s do it! Here are three recipes to get you started on your pepper celebration.

From Food and Wine, here’s a one-dish meal featuring braised chicken and olives.

Eating Well gives us a savory lentil salad that I would make a big batch of to eat throughout the week.

And for something completely different, Savory Sweet Life brings us a simple sweet red pepper relish. Make up a bowl and serve it in the winter if you must have red peppers.

Image: Andrew Morrell

Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington is a San Francisco based writer and communications consultant specializing in environmental, social, and political issues in the food system.