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Feb 18, 2018
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Stocking Up on Italian frying peppers

August 10th 02:08pm, 2011

081011_ItalianpeppsSometimes the name says it all. That’s certainly the case with today’s market pick: sweet Italian frying peppers. At last week’s Maplewood Farmers’ Market, we were drawn in by their bright lipstick-red color and the promise of their sweet taste.

Italian frying peppers are much sweeter than their more common cousins, the bell pepper. They’re longer and skinner, too, with a more conical shape. Look them over carefully before buying. Occasionally, you’ll find some with soft spots or bruises and you should pass those by. When you get home, just store them in the crisper drawer, where they’ll last for nearly a week.

Don’t wait that long, though, to put them to use. The peppers are sweet enough to eat raw, although cooking them brings out the sweetness and meltingly soft texture. Slice them lengthwise and sauté in some olive oil, then load them onto chewy Italian bread topped with thin slices of fresh mozzarella and sopressata. Stuff them with a little cooked Italian sausage, then broil gently. You can even turn them into a soup. Roast the peppers, then peel and purée along with a little chicken stock and milk or cream. For an exotic touch, track down some sumac – a Middle Eastern spice – and sprinkle some on top. Hold the soup in the refrigerator overnight and serve cool the next day.

Give this versatile and sweet-tasting vegetable a try.

By Shannon Parker

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