Multiple varieties of peppers are abundant in my area at the Farmers’ Market and in my neighbors’ gardens. Take advantage of this great crop and make some delicious recipes. Peppers are easy to freeze. Remove the seeds and cut into sizes that you like to use. Place them in ziplock freezer bags to use in the future. That’s all it takes.
Tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, and squash are also plentiful.
Tuscan Flavored Redfish
I like to use Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset herb seasoning on fish. It is a salt-free combination of basil, oregano, red bell pepper, garlic, thyme, fennel, black pepper, and anise. However, you can use any dried Italian seasoning mix.
Two thin redfish fillets, 4 oz each, or fish fillets of your choice
Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset seasoning or other dried Italian seasonings
3 small Italian frying peppers, seeded and sliced into rings
1 small red onion, sliced into rings
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
A handful of finely chopped fennel fronds
Sprinkle the fish, on both sides, with the herb mix. Season with salt to taste. Set aside while the vegetables saute.
Push the vegetable to one side, add the remaining oil and, then, the fish. Cook the fish two minutes and carefully turn the fillets over. Cook for two minutes more. Sprinkle the fish with the orange juice and fennel fronds. Serve the fish alongside the sautéed vegetables.
Mexican Flavored Chicken Stuffed Peppers
Coleslaw is a great side for this dish.
2 medium green bell peppers
1 large chicken breast, about 8 oz, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup medium spice salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cut the top off the peppers and reserve the top. Clean the peppers and remove the seeds. Stand the peppers up in a deep baking dish that is just large enough to hold the two peppers.
In a mixing bowl combine the shredded, cooked chicken with the salsa and cheese. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and place the tops back on the peppers.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add about one inch of water to the baking dish and place the dish, uncovered, in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the peppers to individual serving dishes, using a slotted spoon.
Summer Tomato Salad
1-pint grape tomatoes halved
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Italian vinaigrette. recipe below
Salt & pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a serving bowl. Let marinate at room temperature for several hours before serving.
To make 1 cup of dressing:
Mix 1 tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning with 1 tablespoon of water in a mixing bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup red wine vinegar.
Whisk in 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Let stand several hours for the flavors to develop. Whisk again before adding to a salad.
French Basque Pipérade
My easy version of this dish is great to have in the refrigerator. It can be used as a side for grilled meat or fish and is especially good on top of an omelet. This recipe also makes a good pizza topping.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium sweet onions, peeled, halved and cut into ½ inch thick slices
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
1 medium dried bay leaf
6 medium green bell peppers, cleaned and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips
2 teaspoons piment d’Espelette
1 cup marinara sauce
In a large, deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, add the olive oil. Heat over medium, Add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft and beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Stir in the herbs and pepper slices and season well with salt. Cover and cook until the peppers are slightly softened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the marinara sauce, piment d’Espelette and season well with salt. Cook uncovered until the mixture melds and the juices thicken about 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve or store in a covered container to use during the week.