Showing posts with label banana pepper. Show all posts
Showing posts with label banana pepper. Show all posts

Monday, July 20, 2015

Cherry Peach Salsa

Fresh cherries and peaches with fresh lime juice. Banana peppers make this a mild, kid friendly salsa that is great with chips.

My neighbor called me the other day to let me know she was 30 minutes out with half a cow [and did I want any?]. The kids and I sprang into action, defrosting the meat freezer and making room. Since I was on a roll with defrosting freezers, I continued the following day by defrosting my fruit and vegetable freezer aka microwave stand. I'm happy to report that all freezers are humming along happily.

One way to enjoy local food year round, when you don't live in a place like California or Hawaii where things grow year round, is by freezing plenty when it is ripe. Each summer I put up berries, stone fruits, corn, beans, tomatoes and peppers to enjoy in the winter. In my rush to get enough fruit squirreled away I rarely stop to enjoy fresh fruit. This salsa is one exception.

Fresh cherries and peaches, combined with the bite of banana peppers, makes a mild and fruity salsa. We enjoyed this with blue corn chips for the full Eat The Rainbow extravaganza. It dressed up the leftovers of our anniversary Mexican take out. I added kernels from an ear of cold cooked corn to the remainder for a fruit-veg salsa combo--also good.

For other recipes using cherries, please see my Cherry Recipes Collection. For other recipes using peaches, please see my Peach Recipes Collection. For other recipes using banana peppers, please see my Pepper Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a useful way for folks like me eating seasonal abundance from the farm share, the farmer's market, or the generous gardener next door. I've got a Fruit board on Pinterest, but I'm also going to pin this to my Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks board because I think it fits.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pink Pickled Banana Peppers for Sandwiches

This is a fun little sandwich topping to whip up if you've got a beet and a handful of banana peppers.

If you are a gardener, hope is your best ally. And soil amendments. Hope and good dirt.

Between the vagaries of weather and varmints, you really need to be made of strong stuff--and have a lot of hope--to want to plant year after year. The first year? Optimism is available in spades. After that? It takes some doing.

After asking for 'all the vegetables' on my order at sub shops, I realized I love the zing of pickled banana peppers on my sandwiches. Since I got over my fear of making pickles I realized how damn easy it is to put up a jar or two. Produce + vinegar + water + garlic + time = pickles. I figured I could grow a few banana pepper plants and put up my own pickles.

The first year I planted one plant and harvested maybe 6-8 peppers over the course of 6 weeks. You can see how I used one here in my Layered Summer Vegetable Appetizer.

The second year I planted two plants. One fell into the swamp a varmint knocked one tiny plant over soon after planting [part of the reason I don't start my own seeds--I have less emotional investment in a plant if it fails soon after planting]. The survivor managed to produce probably a dozen or so peppers over the course of the summer. Once I even had enough ripe simultaneously, when combined with a pint of peppers from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, to put up a pint of pickled peppers. Woot.

This year, I planted 3 plants.  My hope has paid off. In spades.

On a whim right before vacation, or rather born from the desperation of needing to empty the garden and fridge before a long trip where we ate locally while on the road, I whipped up a batch of quick refrigerator pickles using a leftover kohlrabi and a bunch of banana peppers that wouldn't last in the garden for 2 weeks. I had one beet left from the farm share and decided to peel and slice it and add to the jars. The result is so fun! Pink pickled peppers. I can see these diced on top of a deviled egg or egg salad, in grilled cheese, on pizza, or in sandwiches. Plenty of sandwiches--how pretty is that?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Double Pepper Double Cheese Grilled Cheese

Two kinds of peppers--fresh sweet and pickled banana--with two kinds of cheese in this creamy vegetarian grilled cheese sandwich.

I've not been one to follow food holiday trends [who came up with National Blueberry Pancake Day in the wintertime?] but I get why grilled cheese sandwiches are popular in Spring. It's sunny, yet it can be cool. A grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect lunch.

This easy vegetarian sandwich would be terrific for a Meatless Monday supper, too. Shoot, if you slice the peppers during weekend food prep it's ready in minutes. If you don't slice the peppers ahead of time it's ready in minutes+2.

I made a batch of these sandwiches one sunny-yet-cool Saturday lunch. I used both my Multigrain Sourdough bread as well as my spouse's German dark rye--it's good on both. The whole family appreciated the warm cheesiness. I'd say we all liked the peppers, but my daughter merely tolerated them. 

I got the idea the same lunch I head about Havarti & Chutney grilled cheese. At Tanks Bar & Grill I had the 'don't even think about asking for substitutions' grilled cheese. It had mayo, mustard, pickled banana peppers and some other stuff--but those listed parts resonated with me and I had to try them at home.

For other grilled cheese sandwich ideas, plus a lovely tomato soup to dunk them in, please click on a photo below. This is one of my Clickable Collages of Recipe Suggestions--yet another way to give you ideas for what to do with your produce. 
Please refer to my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient for further recipes by produce item, and follow me on Pinterest where I'm pinning cool things I find around the web.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Layered Summer Veggie Appetizer

When you think about appetizers, do you throw a bone to the healthy contingent and include some carrot sticks and hummus?  Is your conscience soothed by adding celery sticks to your Buffalo chicken dip?  Do you pick up a veggie tray at the store and call it good?

Are vegetable appetizers an afterthought?
I want to change that.

I'm on a quest to create awesome vegetable appetizers--ones that are demolished before the cocktail weenies or cheese balls, because they are just damn good.  I've got a Pinterest board, Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks, and as I find new ways to turn vegetables into desirable appetizers I'm pinning them there.  Please leave suggestions in the comments so I can add them--thanks!

Layered Summer Veggie Appetizer
Cherry tomato confit, cucumbers, banana peppers, artichoke hearts, olives and feta
Last winter, I started things off here with a Slow Cooker Salmon Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip and a Skillet Mushroom Dip for Two.  In the spring I started a craving for Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken (or Chick Pea) Dip that continues today.  Lately, I've been kinda dippy, with Fattoush Dip with Kale and Sumac Hummus and Indian-spiced Eggplant Yogurt Dip.  Today I want to share another delicious way to incorporate seasonal vegetables into your happy hour, cook out, tail gate, or indulgent dinner for one:  the Layered Summer Vegetable Appetizer.

While the autumnal equinox is weeks away here in North America, the mood has shifted to autumn.  The kids are in school, football marching band season is in full swing, and the sled hockey gear is back out. However, the garden and the farm share are packed with late summer vegetables--peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and squash are filling up my weekly box.  I created this layered appetizer to show off the best of late summer produce.

Layered Summer Veggie Appetizer
Grilled red peppers, grilled red onion, grilled yellow squash, artichoke hearts and feta

Discerning readers will say "hey, that looks like the Fattoush Dip she posted 3 weeks ago" and you'd be correct.  Other clever followers will think "what, another Wednesday eggplant dip recipe?"  Right again.  However, I'm sharing this recipe now, not next summer, for a few reasons:
  • the base of this appetizer, roasted eggplant, is still very much in season and you might be looking for new ways to enjoy it
  • I think this is a party-worthy appetizer, and while I'm not hosting anything until Fall, you may be looking for new appetizer recipes
  • with the variety of special diets around, vegetables are a great way to create a dish that nearly everyone can enjoy

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fattoush Dip with Kale Hummus

Subtitle:  A Fast Farm Share Dip Dinner

Freshly chopped summer produce and preserved vegetables layered over a bed of kale hummus and topped with pita chip croutons.

The other day I shared how I can or freeze summer produce to enjoy during the winter.  Today I'm sharing how I can take the fresh farm share bounty and make a fast supper (for one) or appetizer (for two) in minutes.

I've travelled across the middle of the US recently, and many non-highway roads I've been on have had farm stands.  These stands are selling tomatoes, melons, corn, peaches, cucumbers, squash--the bulk of the summer produce is ripe and ready from Michigan to Delaware (and probably other places, but I haven't been to them this week).
A CSA farm share haul from a few weeks back.
With all this ripe fresh goodness at your fingertips, making a quick and delicious dinner is easy.  I brought home the farm share box, realized we had plenty of leftovers for the kids to scrounge dinner, and decided to treat myself to a riff on my Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken Dip.  I'd first made that dip before cucumbers and tomatoes were in season, and I'd thought the concept (base of dip topped with goodies and eaten with pita chips) was a good one. Mine started with a base of Kale and Sumac Hummus (recipe below) but any hummus will do.  I also keep a few jarred vegetables on hand (olives and artichoke hearts) to add some layers of flavor to the fresh produce.
As an aside, in my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient (a page on the bar above) I have a category for Veggies in Jars where I index my recipes that use artichokes and olives, as well as capers and sun dried tomatoes and probably something else.
All I needed to do was grab a cucumber, a banana pepper, a couple of tomatoes, and after a few minutes of chopping I had a fresh crunchy cool zingy dinner ready to go.  When I realized that I'd unwittingly combined many elements of Fattoush into an appetizer, I decided to call this Fattoush Dip with Kale Hummus.

Only one problem--I was at the end of the bag of pita chips.  So I quickly regrouped (I am a military spouse, after all, and plan F or U or B or R is my specialty), used the pita chip crumbs as croutons, and turned this into an appetizer eaten with a spoon.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sun Gold Tomato Pesto Pizza

A vegan, nut-, and gluten free Sun Gold cherry tomato pesto sauce that is great as an appetizer or dip, a pizza sauce, or pasta sauce.  It freezes well, too.

One of the near-guarantees, if you're in a summer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or farm share subscription, is a lot of tomatoes.  Quite possibly more than you can cope with in a week.  This week, for example, I got four quarts of tomatoes.  Four!  I had a quart of cherry tomatoes, 2 quarts of slicing tomatoes, and a quart of heirloom tomatoes.  (And I'm the only human around who likes to eat raw tomatoes.)
However, I'm not the only household member who's thrilled that Sun Gold season is upon us.
Some people like to gobble up cherry tomatoes like candy.  Others like their tomatoes cooked, never raw.  Still others grow into almost liking tomatoes.  I recall I first tried a summer tomato sandwich, as a non-raw-tomato-eating adult, thanks to a food writer at The Washington Post--her description of the flavors sounded so good that, even though I wasn't a fan of raw tomatoes, I toasted some bread, grabbed the mayo, salt and pepper, sliced a tomato from the garden and discovered a wonderful taste sensation.  That still remains my favorite way to enjoy tomatoes in the summertime.

What choice do I have other than to Deal With All these quarts of tomatoes?  Next week will bring a new box, and sooner or later my own tomatoes will ripen.  I've got to get these tomatoes put up.  
If you're curious, I slow-roasted most of the slicing tomatoes overnight, following Alanna's excellent tutorial, and I put up 4 half pints of heirloom tomato & cashew pesto in the freezer, then I gave a couple of slicers to my neighbor, and the pigs and I snacked on the rest of the cherry tomatoes.  I'm all set.  This week.  I'm lucky they'll just keep coming until frost.
Since I used primarily slicing tomatoes when I made and put up Heather's Fresh Tomato Pesto, I decided to use the Sun Gold cherry tomatoes and my kitchen scale to provide a metric weight-based recipe for this delicious sauce.  I noticed that I needed less oil for these juicy summer tomatoes than I needed for the late season tomatoes.  I threw the sauce on a pizza, so I could get this ever-so-seasonal post up for Friday Night Pizza Night. For real--the dishes are still in the sink, this recipe is that fresh!  You'll be reading it while I'm still cleaning up the mess and the kids are fighting over the leftovers.