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The variety of the week is Bell Peppers!

Bell Peppers, finally! Peppers are something that is definitely missing the warm overnight temperatures, they are an example of a variety that will tolerate dry hot conditions. We grow green, purple and white bell peppers. Throughout the season, we will be rotating the colors of peppers, sometimes it could be a mix of the colors. We want to add as much variety as we can for our members!

Peppers keep best in the fridge. Keeping them in a plastic bag will keep them from dehydrating and getting wrinkly for up to a couple of weeks depending on the pepper. The thicker the flesh of the pepper, the longer it holds. Green bells for instance are known for being thick, whereas a sweet banana you (you will see shortly) is much thinner of a flesh. If you want to freeze peppers, simply wash& cut them up into properly sizes pieces for your purpose, fill a freezer bag and write a date. They don’t need to be blanched like most other varieties to prep for freezing.

One thing I want to make sure all CSA Share members know: the hot peppers will be in plastic produce bags. Any sweet peppers will be loose in the box with the other produce. So if you aren’t checking the blog regularly, you can still assume if it’s a hot or sweet pepper without knowing what variety of pepper it is.

Stuffed Green Bell Peppers 3 green bell peppers salt to taste 1/2 pound ground beef 1/2 cup chopped onion salt and pepper to taste 1 (14.5 ounce) can whole tomatoes (chopped), or substitute 3 fresh tomatoes 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup uncooked rice 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese 1 10.75 ounce cans condensed tomato soup water as needed

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut the tops off the peppers, and remove the seeds. Cook peppers in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. Sprinkle salt inside each pepper, and set aside.

In a large skillet, sauté beef and onions for 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain off excess fat, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, 1/4 cup water and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C). Stuff each pepper with the beef and rice mixture, and place peppers open side up in a baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine tomato soup with just enough water to make the soup a gravy consistency. Pour over the peppers. Bake covered for 25 to 35 minutes, until heated through and cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

Kielbasa Peppers & New Potatoes 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 (16 ounce) package smoked kielbasa sausage, diced 6 medium red potatoes, diced 2 bell peppers, sliced

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Place kielbasa and potatoes in the saucepan. Cover, and cook 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender. and kielbasa is slightly crispy.

Mix bell peppers into the saucepan, and continue cooking 5 minutes, until peppers are just tender. Serve as it’s own or over rice.

Basil is something we want to use up while we have it, so here are a few versions of the caprese salad.

Caprese Salad

3 ripe tomatoes, cut into ¼ inch slices One pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ¼ inch slices (found in deli area) 15-20 basil leaves Extra virgin Olive Oil Coarse Salt & Pepper

Slice tomatoes and mozzarella into ¼ inch thick slices. Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, with a basil leaf between each on a large shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with olive oil, and coarse salt & pepper to taste.

Caprese Salad 3 ripe tomatoes One pound fresh mozzarella cheese 15-20 basil leaves Extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper 1 cup Balsamic vinegar ¼ cup Honey

Stir balsamic vinegar and honey together in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vinegar mixture has reduced to 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Set the balsamic reduction aside to cool.

Arrange alternate slices of tomato and mozzarella cheese decoratively on a serving platter. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, spread fresh basil leaves over the salad, and drizzle with olive oil and the balsamic reduction.

(My Favorite) Caprese Salad

Use the recipe listed above with the balsamic dressing. My style is to chop the tomatoes and mozzarella into bite sized pieces. Fresh mozzarella at our grocery store can even be bought in small curds as opposed to the large ball of cheese. I like to chop the basil so it’s a little stronger as well. Pick the basil leaves off of the stem and roll them up, use a sharp knife to cut the “roll” of leaves. Toss tomatoes, cheese, & basil then top with olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction.

Have a great week!

~The Farmer’s Wife

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