What’s in season: When it comes to sheer variety of colors, bell peppers are the amazing Technicolor fruit of the produce world. The unripe fruit starts out green, but as it matures it can range through shades of red, orange, yellow, purple and even chocolate. Regardless of color, bell peppers are similar in flavor, mildly sweet, with little to no heat. Bell peppers are the only member of the Capsicum genus (which includes other chile peppers) that doesn’t produce capsaicin, the chemical that gives chiles their heat. The fruit are generally in season from late summer to early fall.
What to cook: Julienne fresh peppers and toss with a vinaigrette to make a late-summer slaw, or char the peppers over a hot flame to add smoky notes to sandwiches, chilis and soups. Add peppers to pasta dishes or shakshuka, and wrap the roasted fruit around fresh cheese or tuna for a quick appetizer. Or just cut off the tops and fill the peppers with grains, chicken or other stuffings.
What’s on the horizon: Colorful cranberry and other shelling beans are appearing at stands, and additional varieties of apples and pears are just beginning to show up.