Bell peppers: How to choose, store and prepare

(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

There is nothing at the farmers market that sums up the late summer-early fall season like the mounds of brightly colored peppers that seem to be everywhere. Their colors -- red and yellow, even purple and brown – are so saturated they seem to have been designed for the painterly golden light at this time of year. And they taste as good as they look.

How to choose: Look for peppers that are firm, deeply colored and glossy. Peppers that have the straightest sides will be the easiest to peel.

How to store: Keep peppers in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag.

How to prepare: Roast them on the grill, peel away the charred papery outer skin and you’ve got the makings of a fall feast. Whip fresh goat cheese with slivered basil and spoon that into the peeled pepper. Or do like they do in Italy’s Piedmont and stuff them with a quick mousse made by pureeing good canned tuna and olive oil and stirring in some capers. Or simply toss them with minced garlic, olive oil and sherry vinegar.