I Say Bell Peppers, You Say… Heartburn?
I know, many people avoid bell peppers, but cooking them and removing their skins can minimize the acidity.
Season: May through August (peak)
Choose robust peppers with firm stems. Avoid peppers with wrinkled skin.
The peppers should feel heavy for their size.
Most peppers start out green and then ripen to another color. Therefore, red and yellow peppers tend to be sweeter and slightly more expensive than the green (younger) ones.
Cooked peppers (without their skins) tend to produce less acidity for people and can almost always be substituted for the raw version. But if you like them raw, we find slicing them in small bite-sizes pieces and throwing them in a salad (especially a Greek one with feta, tomato, and green onion) is a nice way to prepare them.
The best method of cooking peppers is to char the skin, which is easy to remove once cooled. After rinsing the peppers, place them on a pan under the broiler (simple oven-baking will usually overcook the flesh). Let the skin char to black; the inner flesh will not be not affected (though remember to turn the pepper every few minutes to char it evenly). After the peppers cool, strip off their skin and remove the seeds (but avoid doing this under running water as it will dilute the pepper’s flavor).
A British friend of mine likes to cut the cooked pepper in strips and marinate them for half a day in extra virgin olive oil, an everyday balsamic vinegar, a few chunks of peeled garlic, salt and pepper, and chopped Italian parsley. The balsamic vinegar also helps mellow the pepper’s pungency. This makes a great accompaniment to a meat entrée.
We also love slow-cooking green peppers in a hearty turkey chili!