The produce department is a rainbow of colors during the summer months, due to all the fresh fruits and veggies. Adding to this bounty are bell peppers!
While bell peppers are available year round, they are fresh and in season from July through November. Typically known as being a pricey vegetable, these flavorful veggies can be found on sale during these months, so you should start meal planning with them today.
All varieties of bell peppers come from the same plant and differ only in their level of maturity. Green bell peppers are harvested before they become fully ripe. Unlike sweet red and yellow bell peppers, green bell peppers have a slightly bitter flavor. Orange and yellow peppers are mature green bell peppers and have a more fruity taste; and unlike green and red peppers the orange variety are not as common. Red peppers are fully mature green, orange, or yellow peppers. Red peppers have the highest levels of vitamins and nutrients, as compared to the other pepper varieties, and have a sweet, fruity taste.
Bell pepper’s bright colors are a sign of their rich source of vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. These peppers are an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6, C, beta-carotene, and folic acid.
Unlike other vegetables, such as eggplant or zucchini, bell peppers stand their own in dishes. Their sweet, bold flavor and crunchy texture, lends them to pair well with onions, garlic, cheeses, and fresh herbs and spices. Bell peppers can be eaten raw, stuffed, stewed, grilled, sautéed, roasted, or stir-fried.
When selecting bell peppers, look for peppers that feel firm and heavy for their size, which are wrinkle and blemish free. Bell peppers should be stored whole and unwashed in the refrigerator. If stored properly, green and yellow peppers will keep for about seven days. However, since red bell peppers are at their ripest, they will only last three to four days after purchase.
This summer try bell peppers in this spicy, classic Italian pasta dish!
Sausage and Pepper Arrabbiata
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves 5
1 pound penne pasta
1 pound Italian sausage
1 large red bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
1 small onion
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (24 ounce) jar Arrabbiata Sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper