An excellent source of Vitamin C, Bell Peppers come in a variety of colours, including: green, yellow, orange, red, and even purple. They are known as bell peppers for their bell-like shape and sweet flavour.
Bell Peppers add vibrant colour and crunch to many dishes, such as salads and stir-fry’s. They also taste awesome when stuffed (not to mention they look super fancy!) or roasted.
How to Pick and Store Bell Peppers:
To pick a pepper (Ha-ha!), choose one that is firm and has a shiny skin with bold colour. Avoid peppers that are shrivelled, limp, or have bruising or soft spots.
Peppers can last for up to a week in your refrigerator when stored in an open plastic bag.
How to Prepare Bell Peppers:
Wash the pepper and then cut in half lengthwise from one side of the stem to the other. From here, you can easily pull the seeds out and trim away any white membrane, which can be bitter tasting.
Another quick way to prepare a bell pepper is to cut all four sides off, leaving the seeds and stem to discard.
If preparing raw, you can julienne the pepper or cut into chunks to add to your favourite salad, slaw, or crudités platter.
If Bell Peppers are on sale, especially the sweeter variety, pick a few extras. When you get home, seed and freeze them. They’ll keep for up to 6 months. They’ll be a little too soft for a salad when they thaw, but they’ll be great in an omelet or pasta.
Peppers can be cleaned out and stuffed to bake, like for this recipe for Sausage and Couscous Stuffed Peppers, chopped and added to spaghetti sauce, or included in a wealth of dishes. Try sautéing, baking, roasting, braising, or even grilling on the BBQ.
Bell Pepper Tips:
- Green and purple peppers are immature, which is why they are less sweet than the red peppers.
- If you have a stomach sensitivity to peppers, stick to red bell peppers because they’re easier to digest.
- You can freeze seeded bell peppers for up to six months.
- Purple peppers fade to light brown when heated, so they’re best used raw if you’re buying them for colour.
- The skin of a pepper is tough, which makes it hard to thinly slice. Instead, slice the pepper from the flesh side (skin side down).
- A seeded and hollowed out pepper makes a great dip container.
- Try adding bell peppers to a sandwich for a little crunch.
- A fun way to seed a pepper is to hold it in your hand and smack it on the kitchen counter, stem side down. Then easily pull the stem out, complete with seeds.
- Two large peppers will yield 2 ½ cups chopped.
What Do Bell Peppers go well with?
Basil, cheese, eggplant, garlic, lemon, olive oil, onions, oregano, parsley, potatoes, rice, sausages, thyme, tomatoes, vinegar, zucchini, and chili peppers.