Summer Peppers

Summer is upon us and that usually means a bounty of sweet orange, red, green and yellow peppers. Bell peppers are noted for being the leader among vegetables and fruits for their vitamin C content.

When buying peppers make sure that they are firm, shiny, smooth and unblemished. Wrinkles and brown spots indicate that they have been stored too long. Peppers can and should be stored in the refrigerator as they sustain their texture and quality at cooler temperatures. They can be stored successfuly at temperatures above 44 degrees for up to two weeks.

My favorite way of preparing peppers is to make sure they are peeled and seeded. (I find the bitter skin a little hard to digest.) The trick to peeling and seeding peppers is to roast or broil them until the skin is blackened and blistered. Once this is done place the peppers into a plastic bag and allow them to cool slightly. This process facilitates the easy removal of the peel. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle remove from the bag and use a paring knife to peel away the skin from the bottom toward the top.

Next, cut the peppers in half,  taking care not to squash the delicate flesh. Remove the white membrane and carefully scrape out the seeds. Now you can cut them to the desired shape and size and use them according to whatever recipe you have in mind. Roasted, peeled and seeded peppers are a delicious joy and worth the little bit of effort involved in preparing them.

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