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Both sweet and hot pepers can trace their origins to Mexico.  Christopher

Columbus brought them back to Spain in 1493, where they spread

throughout Europe, Africa and Asia.  Today, they represent a culinary

rainbow, with varieties sporting shades of green, red, yellow, orange

and more rarely, white, rainbow (between stages of ripening), purple and

brown.  They are a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, Folate, Magnesium and

Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamins A, B6, C, K and

Manganese.  For a new taste, try one of these recipes!



Roasted Mediterranean Peppers

2 red peppers

2 green peppers

2 yellow peppers

12 tomatoes, scalded and peeled

6 anchovies packed in oil, halved lengthways

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

12 tablespoons olive oil

1 pinch fresh ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425°F Slice each pepper in half lengthways, including the stalk and scoop out the seeds. Place the pepper halves in a shallow ovenproof dish.


Quarter the tomatoes and divide among the 12 pepper halves. Divide the anchovy fillets and garlic and pour a tablespoon of olive oil into each pepper half. Season with freshly ground pepper.


Bake for half an hour then reduce the heat to 350F and bake for a further half an hour until the peppers have softened and are brown around the edges.  Serve the peppers warm from the oven with focaccia bread.



Roasted Marinated Peppers with Goat Cheese

2 large red bell peppers

2 large yellow bell peppers

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 lemon, juice of

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

6 sprigs fresh thyme

salt and freshly ground pepper

12 black olives

1 large orange, peeled, sliced

2 ounces soft goat cheese


Heat oven to 375.  Arrange peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until blackened and soft, 25-30 minutes, turning once or twice.  Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand 10 minutes (this helps steam the peppers in their skins, and makes skin removal easier).


Meanwhile, make the marinade: combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, leaves from about half the thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl.


While peppers are still hot, slip off the skin and scrape out seeds; remove stems. Cut each pepper into quarters.  Add roasted peppers to the marinade and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.


To serve, arrange peppers on 4 plates, garnish with olives, oranges and remaining thyme, and crumble goat cheese over and season with additional freshly ground pepper.


Note: instead of all red wine vinegar, you can use 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 1 teaspoon balsamic, for even deeper and sweeter flavor. Chopped basil is also a delicious garnish.



Stuffed Peppers

6 medium bell peppers

1 lb lean ground beef

1/3 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 cups stewed tomatoes (1 1/2 cans)

3/4 cup pre- cooked rice (like Minute Rice)

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

salt & pepper

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus extra for topping, about 3/4 cup)


Core and clean peppers and cook in hot water for approximately 5 minutes. Remove from water, stand upside down and drain.  Sprinkle inside with salt.


Brown beef and onions in hot oil. Add tomatoes, rice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.  Stir in 1 cup cheese and stir until almost melted.


Stuff peppers and top with additional cheese.  Bake approximately 25 minutes in 350 oven.



Red Pepper Relish

6 sweet red peppers, washed,halved and seeded

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tomatoes

2 medium red onions, sliced into rings

1 - 2 hot red chiles

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup raspberry vinegar or 1/2 cup red wine vinegar


Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (or 425 F).  Lay the red peppers cut side down on a baking tray and brush them with 2 tbsp olive oil.Bake until the skins start to blacken and blister. At that point, remove from the oven, put them in a bowl and cover with Saran wrap.  Set aside.


Meanwhile, peel the tomatoes by covering them in boiling water for a few minutes.  Drain and the skins should come off easily. Quarter the tomatoes, discarding the seeds. The peppers should now be cool enough to skin. Once they are skinned, chop into thin strips.


Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Drop in the onions and chillies and sauté over a medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft.  Stir in the sugar and cook for another two minutes, being careful the sugar does not burn.


Add the tomato and pepper strips along with the vinegar.  Let simmer for 20 minutes or until thick and pulpy.  Put into a sealed container and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.  Serve cold on all your favorite barbeque meats.




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