Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Veggie CSA Week #19

Full share:
Tomatoes - 2#
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
Arugula - 1/2#
Peppers - 1#
Cucumbers - 2#
Eggplant - 1.5#

Half Share:
Tomatoes - 1.5#
Eggplant - 1#
Arugula - 1/4#
Peppers - 1.5#
Cucumbers - 1#

What to do with "all these peppers"

I just love pepper season because the yield is always so high and we're practically swimming in them! I am much more of a pepper freak than a tomato freak, so this time of year is my favorite (not to mention the cooler weather, longer shadows, and football!)

Don't feel you must consume all the peppers in your box within a week. First of all, they'll keep for quite a long time (weeks) in a plastic bag in the fridge. If you still have a back log, you can chop them up and freeze them, which is a really nice treat mid-winter (they're a little mushier when they thaw, but still quite tasty, and if you're cooking them, you'll never notice). I also roast them over an open flame (or under the broiler) until the skins start to blister. Then just throw them in a ziploc bag and toss the bag in the freezer. As you need them through the winter, just take a few out, thaw and peel the skins off. This will work with the Anaheims, Poblanos, and red bell peppers. I suppose you could also roast the green bells, but they're not as sweet and it just doesn't come out the same. Also worth mentioning, the bell peppers that aren't fully ripe (red) will eventually turn red. They start out on the plant as green (unripe) and slowly turn red. Sometimes, I pick them a little early, and they haven't completely turned. But they will soon enough.

Roasted red bell peppers are a wonderful treat on pizza, in pasta, on bread with olive oil, carmelized with onions and topped on meat, in sandwiches.....

The chiles are a bit harder to get used to cooking with. Hopefully, you've been roasting them, peeling their skins off, chopping them up and adding them to the salsas you've been having to make with all the tomatoes. I love the anaheims in soups and stews, the poblanos in eggs, potatoes, beans, and rice. We make a sort of poblano "enchilada" dish thats wonderful (sorta spicy, but nothing even I can't handle). For this, we make a tomato based sauce first (I just cook down and season lots of tomatoes). Then I peel and clean the poblanos and cut them so they're one sheet (like a mini torilla). I put a topping of italian sausage, chicken or pork (already cooked), or anything else you can think of, on the poblano and roll it up. Put in a baking dish, cover with sauce and cheese, bake for a while, and YUM.

If you're still at a loss for pepper recipes, let me know. I just google for recipes and theres endless options. One of the most wonderful things about summer's bounty of produce is that we're able to preserve it for use this winter, when its cold and dreary. Peppers, especially, liven up any winter day.

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