Last summer I got serious about peppers. I bought ten extra pounds from my CSA and chopped, roasted and froze them. I ran out in February, and made a mental note to get very, very serious in 2011. Behold twenty-seven pounds of organic red peppers!
Bell peppers (red, green and otherwise) are on the list of vegetables and fruits that I’ll only buy organic. Conventionally grown peppers carry pesticide residues you can’t wash off–carcinogens, hormone disruptors, reproductive toxins–yummy! But organic peppers in the grocery store can cost $8 per pound, and they’re imported from thousands of miles away. When locally grown food is fresher AND cheaper, it makes those supermarket peppers look a lot less attractive.
Late August and early September is the only time you can find plentiful and inexpensive organic peppers in New England (I got these for $1.50 per pound–a deal I made with my CSA). So, I freeze as many peppers as I can, and then I don’t buy any for the whole rest of the year…well, until July, when I fall upon the small green peppers at the farmer’s market like they’re my favorite food on earth. They’re really not. $40 and four hours of work (including cleanup!) for a year’s worth of peppers, chopped and/or roasted, ready to eat. Slightly painful in the short term, but so worth it.
I use frozen red peppers for lots of stuff:
chopped: in chili, pasta sauce, meatloaf, soup, etc. I freeze lots of chopped green peppers, too.
strips/large dice: in Thai curry, stir-fries.
roasted: in pasta and salad.