Fresh bell peppers, also known as sweet peppers, come into season in much of the U.S. during the mid summer months. Pick the best bell peppers from your farmer's market or local grocery store and make the most of the summer's bell pepper season with this simple, handy guide to everything bell pepper.
Bell pepper colors
No matter the color, bell peppers can be added to all sorts of recipes and are delicious either raw or cooked. Green bell peppers are most common and generally the least expensive variety with light sweetness. Green bell peppers are simply a less-ripe version of red bell peppers. Red bell peppers, orange bell peppers and yellow bell peppers are all sweeter because they've been left to ripen on the vine. Red bell peppers are loaded with about twice as many vitamins as the green variety, so keep that im mind when debating whether the extra expense is really worth it.
Picking perfect bell peppersLook for bell peppers that are firm to the touch and unblemished on the outside. They shouldn’t be soft, and shouldn’t have any shriveling of the skin – both signs of a bad pepper.
How to storeBell peppers should be stored in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. If you need to use just part of a pepper, cut off the part you need and store the remainder in an airtight container. Bell peppers can also be deseeded and cut into strips. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
How to cookAlthough bell peppers are fabulous raw (in salads, served with dip, etc), they are also great cooked. They can be used in stir fries, as vessels for stuffed peppers or roasted (roasted peppers are great in salads and on sandwiches too).
How to make roasted red peppers
- Preheat your broiler on high
- Wash the red pepper(s) under cool water and pat dry. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil
- Slide the baking sheet into the oven and broil for five minutes. Then flip and broil for an additional five minutes
- Repeat, turning after five minutes each time, until all sides are singed with black and the pepper is fork tender
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the peppers to cool until they can be comfortably held in your hands
- Once cooled, peel the skin from the peppers. Then, slice open and remove the seeds
- The peppers can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or freeze them for up to three months.