Vegetable of the year 2021 : The pepper
Peppers are the plant "Capsicum annuum" and the fruit of certain cultivated forms thereof. The fruit of other cultivated forms of this plant, such as cayenne pepper, can look very different.
Peppers exist in all kinds of colours, shapes, flavours and even sizes. The vegetable belongs, just like the tomato, cucumber and aubergine, to the group of fruit vegetables. The green and lesser known purple peppers have a slightly sharper flavour, while the red, yellow, white and orange varieties taste rather sweet. Did you know that a green pepper is actually a red pepper that is not quite ripe yet?
Peppers are best kept in a dry and cool place, but not in the refrigerator. They could spoil if the temperature is too low. Under optimum conditions, sweet peppers can be kept for up to two weeks after the date of harvest.
The species originates from Central America and was brought to Europe by Spaniards around 1500. After Spain and Portugal it was initially mainly Italy in Europe where the sweet pepper was valued as a cultivated crop. The name paprika originates from Hungarian, but although the pepper plays an important role in Hungarian cuisine, it was only introduced into Hungary relatively late (possibly in the 18th century and only popular since the beginning of the 20th century.
Source: Wikepedia and Tasty from here
Recipe with pepper:
Humus of stewed peppers with chickpeas, garlic and mint.
Ingredients for 4 persons
- 4 red peppers
- 60 g dry chickpeas (soak overnight)
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- olive oil
- black pepper from the mill and sea salt
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- the seeds of the peppers
- a few fresh mint leaves
- 4 slices of bread
Humus : cook the soaked chickpeas in lightly salted water. Drain and leave to cool. Remove the seeds from the peppers and keep as a garnish. Cut the peppers into wide strips. Put them in a saucepan and pour half with olive oil and half with water. Make sure they are ¾ underneath. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rosemary and cook the peppers for 30-35 minutes on a low heat. Remove the peppers from the liquid and mix with half of the cooked chickpeas and the fresh mint leaves until smooth.
Garnishes : toast the bread and cut into strips. Toast the seeds of the peppers in a non-stick pan.
Put the humus in a bowl and finish with cooked chickpeas, some roasted peppers seeds, mint leaves. Serve with the toasted bread.
There are many types of peppers on the market, not all of them are different in size or shape, also in taste and vitamins can be very different. But all of them, no matter what colour, give a lot of inspiration in European cuisine today!