Sweetening Summer with Peppers

Colorful add-ins with flavor

Eating healthy can get mired in foods to eliminate or avoid. Reduce sugar and salt; don’t drink soda; avoid fatty and fried foods. Summer makes it easy to add to what you eat—colorful and flavorful fruits and vegetables. Sweet and hot peppers offer an inexpensive range of colors and flavors to enjoy raw or cooked all year long. Peppers give us a rainbow of colors—including chocolate, purple, red, orange, yellow, and white—and heat levels to work with. With sweet bells, reds are sweetest. Yellow and orange are slightly less sweet. And green, brown and purple have that fresh, raw, slightly bitter taste that you either love or you don’t. With hot peppers, in general, the smaller the size the bigger the heat! To reduce heat levels, remove the seeds and white veins from the inside of the pepper. With all peppers, look for glossy skins and a firm fruit.

Sweet Pepper Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes; Total Time: 50 minutes,
including roasting; plus chilling;
Makes 4–6 servings. Servings size: 1/2 cup
1 cup roasted peppers, sliced (see separate recipe)
1/2 red onion, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
2–3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Pinch of granulated sugar (optional)
1 (15 ounce) can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
Pinch of dried chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve chilled.

Roasted Peppers
4 peppers (red, orange, yellow, or mixed) halved and seeded
Olive oil
Preheat broiler. While it heats, cut peppers in half
and remove seeds.
Coat pepper halves with olive oil and place cut side down
on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Broil on high until skins are charred, about 10–15 minutes.
Immediately place in a zip-top bag or in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to “sweat.” Let peppers rest about
15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
Rub the peppers in your hands to remove the charred skins. Do not rinse under water (or you’ll wash all that good pepper flavor away).
Store, covered, in refrigerator for up to 3 days until ready to use. Yields 11/2–2 cups.

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