A favorite winter pastime of mine is reading cookbooks. We cook from scratch at home most weeknights so I’m always on the hunt for new recipes. This week I’ve been reading the cookbook, Ripe. The vegetables in the book are organized in chapters according to colors and accompanied by beautiful photos and a variety of recipes.
My favorite part of the book is the short intro she writes for each vegetable. They’re very witty and often cut right to the essence of the featured vegetable. My favorite so far has been her description of peppers. It perfectly expresses my opinion of the difference between red and green peppers…
“If a green pepper rang my doorbell, I might look through the peep hole and then pretend I’m not home, easing back from the door so it doesn’t see my shadow. But, a red bell pepper? That’s a different situation…
If a red pepper came to the door? I’d let it in, pull out a chair, and invite it to stay. Then I’d tackle it from behind and eat it.
You ring my bell, you take your chances.”
During the height of the late summer harvest season, I can often be found out in my garden harvesting bowls and bowls full of red peppers. I never pick a green pepper (unless it’s about to frost, and even then I usually let it die); I always wait for them to turn red.
The difference in flavor between a green and red pepper is incredible. Eating a green pepper is like munching on a tasteless, fibrous piece of cardboard. But a red pepper! It’s all I can do not to eat each one right there in garden. Juicy, tender, and sweet with an acidic undertone—there’s nothing like a red pepper fresh from the garden.
Harvesting large amounts of red peppers each summer makes me feel rich like no other vegetable can. It’s one of the things I get most excited about in the summer garden. But difficulty growing red peppers is one of the most common issues I hear from gardeners each year. A lot of people find it very challenging to do it successfully.
My first question to them always is, “What variety do you grow?”
Vegetable variety is often a very important ingredient in the success of your garden. Not all varieties are created equal. In the red pepper world, I always recommend my two favorites – Carmen and Jimmy Nardello’s. Every year without fail, both of these varieties produce reliable crops of beautiful, sweet red peppers.
If you dream about harvesting more red peppers than you can eat in summer, I highly suggest hunting down and growing both of these. You won’t be disappointed.
You can get all the help you need to successfully grow red peppers in my ebook, The Essential Guide to Growing Red Peppers, here.
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