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Sep 10, 2008 03:48 AM

Abundance of red peppers

I have a bounty of red peppers from my CSA, and don't want them to go to waste, but it's far more than I can use immediately. They are a mix of red bell pepper and something the farmer called "ethnic pepper", which I haven't tasted, but am told it is sweet with a little bit of heat. Can anyone direct me to a really good recipe that could use all of these peppers up? Like a ketchup or maybe a red pepper puree kind of thing? Can they be pickled maybe? I thought of freezing them, but I never like the way they come out of the freezer. I think that's because of the water content in them. Any suggestions? Sincerely, I have a LOT.

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  1. A recipe I make uses up quite a few for our family of four since we like it so much; we probably each have 3 halves (or 1.5 peppers)--

    halve and seed the peppers. Broil cut side down till black; put in paper bag to steam for 15 minutes. Peel off the black part.

    Put the peppers cut side up on a baking sheet (on foil if you want to make cleanup easier). Place a slice of manchego (or any other really) cheese on each, and top with one anchovie (the canned kind). Cook at 350 or so until the cheese is hot and melted.

    I have been making this as a "regular" for 20 years now and even people who don't like anchovies love it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DGresh

      And I was reminded that when I started making these roasted peppers 20 years ago, I was in grad school in the SF Bay Area while my parents were back east in NJ. At that time red peppers were surprisingly expensive in the Northeast (probably $4 a pound even back then), while I could get them cheap at the Monterey Market at the Stanford mall (of all places). So whenever I flew home to visit I'd bring a huge bag of red peppers in my suitcase. So at least one thing has gotten cheaper at the grocery store :)

      1. re: DGresh

        Red peppers are definitely four bucks a pound here in Florida. All year! The yellow and orange ones are five dollars for the same quantity.

        If I had an excess of red peppers, I'd be making tons of Muhammara. It's a delicious Middle Eastern dip with roasted red peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses. In my opinion, it's much tastier than its distant cousin, hummus.

        I haven't used this particular recipe, but it looks solid. And I trust the source:

    2. My first thought would be red pepper jelly. It's easy to make and would give you something homemade to give out during the holidays.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dfrostnh

        I just made a quantity of sofrito put in cube trays,froze and then in a bag. Now I'm good to go. Red peppers have more than twice the vitamin c as green raw.Peppers and eggs on a hero grew up on them

        1. re: scunge

          Wish I could eat them raw but they kill my stomach! Roasted (my way, rinse off the oils after) no problem. Not traditional but at least I can eat them now.

      2. I know you don't want to freeze, but I've started buying red peppers when they're on sale, roasting and peeling them, and then freezing flat on wax paper inside a zip lock Then I can pull out one or two whenever I want to make a quick antipasta or when a recipe calls for bell pepper (I hate them raw). Roasting them first probably removes a lot of the water.

        2 Replies
        1. re: coll

          That's essentially what I've done with green NuMex and poblanos, and have never had an issue with texture. I don't see why it wouldn't work with those extra red bells.

          I also like the idea of freezing some puree of roasted red pepper/roasted garlic/olive oil in ice cube trays. That could be handy in a number of applications during the winter months- add a cube to some chicken cacciatore, pasta sauce, heck-even chili, etc. for an added dimension. I've got some pimiento plants with a whole bunch of pods turning red right now and I plan on freezing the extras in some way or another.

          1. re: TongoRad

            My co-worker brought in a bag of about 8 red peppers earlier this week and told me I could have them. They looked wonderful, so I decided to have ham steak for dinner. I washed, gutted, and sliced into 1/2" strips and put them into a large fry pan with some olive oil on med. heat. I also included some yellow & green peppers that I had on hand, as well. Then I sliced up a vadalia onion and put that into the pan and let them all cook for another 15-20 minutes. I lowered the heat and put in 2 ham steaks underneath the pepper & onions and added some pineapple juice and covered it. In about 15 minutes it was done and it was quite tastey. My 18 yr. old daughter said that it was delicious! (and that doesn't happen very often!) There were leftovers and it was a deliciuos lunch the next day.

        2. Definitely ajvar, sweet roasted red pepper dip. It's a traditional use for the abundance of red peppers in the Balkans at the end of the harvest.

          3 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            Ditto on the ajvar. It's wonderful on pita double dipped into the ajvar and then into hummus.

            My husband eats it with cream cheese on toasted bagels or with crackers (Stone Wheat Thins from TJs)

            1. re: oakjoan

              Muhammara is also fantastic. Different flavour profile than ajvar, with pomegranate molasses, cumin, etc.

              There are many variations on the recipe, but here's an example, by Paula Wolfert:

              Here is another example, may be a little more authentic, as it uses Aleppo pepper (in addition to the red bells) for heat, instead of any other kind of hot pepper:

            2. re: JungMann

              Avjar was my first thought, too.

            3. fullbelly, you might want to check out the romesco thread that is currently pretty active. I'm sure romesco would freeze well.

              Here are a couple of tasty recipes from epicurious. They call for bottled roasted peppers, but are even better with home-roasted.

              Make sure to use a good quality feta both of these, since the feta flavor is prominent.

              Roasted feta with Olives and Roasted Red Peppers


              Roasted Red Pepper with Feta Dip


              1 Reply
              1. re: bear

                Romesco - one of Spain's great gifts. Very very addictive so be careful...