Tag Archives: peppers

My Urban Market Salsa

19 Aug

 

I love the fresh summer veggies right now.  Take this salsa recipe for starters.  It has EVERYTHING  you need for a meal.  I’m warning you, when you make it, you will probably think it’s an appetizer, but once you start to eat it, it will turn into a meal because it tastes so good and it is so full of fresh garden flavors.  It also provides something from every food group! You probably aren’t able to grow everything for My Urban Market Salsa so you will have to pick up the remaining ingredients at your local market, which is why I don’t call it My Urban Farmscape Salsa. I can’t grow everything, but I can grow most of it, and hopefully you do too. 

1 cup cooked, cooled and rinsed black beans

1 cup sweet corn, cooked, cooled, and cut off the cob

1 cup diced tomato

½ cup diced sweet red pepper

¼ cup seeded and diced jalapeno pepper

½ cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

½ cup diced onion

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

 Mix above ingredients and place in the refrigerator overnight.  Serve the following day with tortilla chips.  My favorite are the blue corn tortilla chips.  Or for lunch, serve in a homemade flour tortilla.    Bon Appetit !

Pepper Harvesting and Preservation

12 Aug

One of my favorite crops to grow in My Urban Farmscape is peppers. You can get a lot of bang for your buck out of these compact plants.   Historically, peppers have been used throughout the world to flavor some of our favorite dishes with their crisp, tangy, sweetness or their hot, spicy, heat.  Think about it.  What would chili be without the pepper?  How boring would your veggie trays look at the summer picnic without a bright orange, yellow or green bell pepper?  Would tacos or fajitas exist?

Sweet Peppers

I have started to pick sweet peppers and I’m sure that you will soon if you haven’t started already.  As I begin to get an overabundance, I will share some, but I will also freeze or grill them.  For bell peppers, you harvest them when they are ripe, which is when they reach their mature size.  They will feel heavier and may start to turn color.  As you gently pull, twist the stem.  Or use scissors or pruners and cut the stem about 1/2” from the fruit.  For the colored bell peppers, wait until they turn their color (yellow, orange or red). 

Freezing Bell Peppers

It’s simple.  Slice the pepper in half, stem to blossom end.  Remove the stem and seeds inside.  Wash, and dry.  Place in a freezer bag or freezer container and toss into the freezer.  Use for cooked dishes.  They get soft once frozen so they won’t work well for fresh eating.

Roasting Sweet Peppers

Also easy.  These larger red sweet peppers give just the right flavor to some otherwise boring soups or stews.  Cook these directly on the grill or over an open flame on your gas stove.  You could also use the broiler in your oven. As they cook they will get soft and their skin will char, that is when you know they are done.  Remove from the grill and allow to cool some making it easier to handle when you remove the skin.  After the stems and skin are removed, chop and place in a freezer container what ever you don’t use. Yum!

 Hot Peppers

For hot peppers, most of them can be harvested in the green stages up to their colored stage.  These will be ready for harvest later in the season as they LOVE the heat.  Of course you can use any of the hot peppers fresh however you like.  

Freezing or Jam

You can freeze jalapeno peppers like bell peppers, removing the seeds.  WEAR GLOVES!  One of my favorite things to do with jalapeno peppers is to make pepper jelly.  The recipe I have used is on the Sure-jell box.  I like to spread this over some cream cheese and serve with crackers.  Secret: Want to give it a little more bite?  Leave in the seeds.  Watch out though if you take some for a holiday gathering and grandma tries some.  She might scream out some words you have never heard from her before.  Most grandma’s don’t  like hot spicy foods!

Drying Peppers

You can dry all chili types.  I like these to turn red on the vine.  You can spread them out over a screen, string up on fishing line or heavy thread, or use a dehydrator.  It’s fun to make decorative gifts or ristras.  Once you know they are dry, you can grind them in a coffee grinder, not used for coffee of course, but just for your peppers, and then store in a glass container.  These make nice gifts, and who knows, maybe you could come up with your very own famous chili spice mix!  I love peppers.  How about you?  What is your favorite way to preserve peppers?

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