The two light frosts of Saturday and Sunday brought all of the peppers out of the field and into your shares. We hope that you are not overwhelmed by the harvest and put them to good use.
There are many things to do with green peppers. This week we have a green pepper relish recipe. You won’t have enough peppers to make it worth your while to can them, so don’t stress about that. Just keep it in your fridge and use it over the next several months on burgers, in egg salad, potato salad, or in your homemade thousand island dressing.
An option for the peppers you can’t use right away is to freeze them. Peppers are unique in that you don’t have to blanch them before freezing. Simple clean them of the stem and seed, cut them into chunks, and freeze them. It is best to first freeze them on a cookie sheet and them put them in a freezer bag or other suitable container.
Fajitas are another wonderful use of peppers. Or check our Week 21 of 2005 newsletter for 3 other tasty pepper and onion dishes. You can use your leeks instead of onions if you haven't eaten them already.
The fulls get a shot at some more hot peppers this week, as they were also harvested to beat the cold. The first hot pepper primer was in this year's Week 13 blog. This week there are a few new ones for you. The ones in the foreground of the photo below are cherry bells. They are the ones you see stuffed with cheese and prosciutto at the Italian delis.
The ones in the background are poblanos. Also known as an ancho pepper when it is dried, they are quite spicy and the pepper of choice for chile rellenos. Unfortunately these peppers never sized up, but they can still be used for this wonderful dish.
Green Pepper Relish
If your are thinking of canning your pepper relish, or doing some other preserving, I suggest this National Center for Home Food Preservation Publication 8004, page 10. The recipe below is adapted to fit the quantity of peppers in your share.
Makes about 3 half pints.
About 6 medium peppers (1.5 lb +/-) a mix of green, red and hot to suit your taste (including juice)
2 medium onions
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups white vinegar (5%)
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp salt
1. Combine all ingredients. Boil 30 minutes, uncovered.
2. Pack into jars, to 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) from top.
3. Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife or spatula between the food and
the jar. Then wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth and secure lids and ring
4. Let cool and then store in the fridge, or process pints in a boiling water bath as prescribed in Table 6 of the guide.