The peppers we grown are in the genus Capsicum, from the nightshade family Solanaceae. Native to many parts of Latin America, peppers are plants that love warm climates and are killed by the first frost. Immature, or unripe, peppers are usually green (although some of ours are purple and pale yellow). These peppers will mature to sweeter red, orange or yellow colors. In general, store peppers in the fridge. If your green pepper has a "break" of color on it, leave it on the counter, it will ripen. If you have too many peppers, they are really easy to store - just cut them up and freeze them. We grow a few varieties of peppers here at Powisset including bell peppers (green, purple, pale yellow, and mature red, orange); sweet Italian frying peppers (also called 'corno di toro' or bullhorn) which are longer and bright red; mild stuffing chiles (we grow light green Anaheim and dark green Poblano varieties). You can find more hot pepper varieties (jalapeno, habanero, etc) out in the pick your own field.

Mushroom and Spinach Stuffed Peppers
From: Farmer John’s Cookbook

4 quarts water
4 bell peppers, any color-tops sliced off and seeds removed
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup butter
1 large onion, minced
1 ½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice
½ pound mushrooms, chopped
1 cup finely diced celery
¼ cup finely diced carrot
¼ cup fresh or frozen corn
1 large handful spinach, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Dash cayenne pepper
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, diced
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Black pepper

1. preheat oven to 350°F

2. bring four quarts of water to boil in a large soup pot; add the peppers and 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the peppers until they are almost soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the peppers from the water and set in a colander to drain (reserve the water in the pot). Transfer the peppers to a rack, cut-sides up, and let cool.

3. heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add half of the onions, sauté until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add 3 cups of the peppers’ cooking water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped pepper tops, the remaining onions, mushrooms, celery, corn, spinach, ginger, garlic, and cayenne; sauté until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.

5. combine the rice and sautéed vegetables in a large bowl. Stir in the tomato and half the parmesan cheese. Season with pepper to taste.

6. fill each pepper case with the filling and arrange them in a 9-inch-square baking dish. Garnish with the remaining cheese; add more cheese if desired. Spread any extra filling around the peppers. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Fresh Jalapenos Relish
From Mexican Regional Cooking by Diane Kennedy
1/2 pound chiles jalapeno (about 13 -- I used several kinds of moderately hot chiles)
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1/2 teaspoon oregano
3/4 cup mild vinegar
1/4 cup salad oil
Wash and dry chiles well. Cut off the stalk and slice in half. Remove as many of the veins and seeds as possible and slice thin. (I do this with rubber gloves.) Mix with the rest of the ingredients and set aside to marinate for at least two hours. They are best the next day, but can keep for up to a week. The marinade tempers the chilis -- they really aren't that hot, just crunchy and fresh -- so it is an excellent addition to sandwiches, roast meats, on top of meats, or beans. Yum!

Roasted Eggplants and Peppers in Oil
Ingredients:1 lbs. eggplants (5 or 6 small)
2 large green bell peppers
2 large pimiento peppers
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
Salt and pepper to taste
Roast the eggplants and peppers in a very hot oven or under the broiler, turning them often, until their skins are blistered and turning brown all over. Remove and allow to cool.When you can easily handle the vegetables, strip off the skins. Seed the peppers and cut away the white ribs.Cut both peppers and eggplants into stips about 1 inch long and ½ inch wide.Toss the vegetables with the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Allow to marinate for a few hours before serving. Serve cool or at room temperature.Serves 4-6

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