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Roasting Sweet Peppers

| 11/15/2017 9:47:00 AM


My husband, Jamie, has been growing large gardens for over 30 years and I’ve been putting up the bounty. But somehow the magic of growing and roasting sweet peppers escaped us for most of those seasons, tsk tsk. Now Jamie plants plenty of pepper plants (say that 10 times fast!) specifically for this purpose. We aim to harvest at least a bushel of roasting peppers per season, which provides approximately 16 pints for the freezer.

If I’m busy putting up fragile veggies before they go by, I’ll sometimes leave these sturdy, red jewels hanging around until we can find the time to pick and roast them. They just patiently dangle from their vines, getting sweeter and prettier even into the fall.

Sweet Pepper Varieties for Roasting

The best peppers for roasting have thick skins; thin skinned peppers are hard to peel. For the past few years, Jamie has been growing a variety called 'Carmen', a traditional horn-shaped Italian sweet pepper. They are perfect for roasting, as are many horn-shaped sweet peppers. Other types such as 'Marconi', 'Pimentos', and 'Bells' are also wonderful for this use. If growing your own, be sure to leave the peppers on the plant until they ripen into their mature red, orange, yellow, or chocolate color.

Green peppers of all varieties are not yet mature. Yes, those green bell peppers and green Italian fryers that you see at the store are actually not ripe. Fully ripened peppers are sweeter (or hotter depending on the type) and are easier to digest. They also contain more vitamin C, beta-carotene, and anti-oxidants such as capsaicin, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin when fully ripe.

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