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This week’s Vegetable Box Feature: Hot Cherry Bomb Peppers… add a little heat to your Labour Day BBQ!

Did you know?

  • It is named for its cherry-like shape.
  • They have a medium heat and a sweet taste; the thick flesh has a sweet flavor that imparts little to no heat. But as the name suggests, your mouth is in for an explosion of heat if you eat the seeds.
  • Their Scoville Scale range falls at the very bottom of medium heat peppers, from 2,500 to 5,000 Scoville heat units. That puts it in line with jalapeño peppers.
  • They are botanically fruits because they contain seeds.
  • They are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and build collagen within the skin. The peppers also contain vitamin A, iron, and small amounts of capsaicin, which is a compound that has been shown to help stimulate the circulatory system and provide anti-inflammatory properties.
  • They are often confused with pimentos because of their similar appearance and use. Pimentos, however, are a lot less spicy and sweeter than the cherry pepper and are heart-shaped while cherry peppers are spherical. They do both offer a similar flavor and can be interchanged.

How to Store Them
Red hot cherry peppers keep well in the refrigerator for a week to 10 days. To keep the peppers from getting soft, place them in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator. To preserve them for longer, you can pickle, dry or even freeze them.


How to Use Them:
There’s a sweetness to Cherry Bomb peppers that’s quite delicious and can be eaten raw or cooked, such as baking, grilling, and roasting. They pair well with cheeses and savory meats like sausage and bacon. They are meaty, too, with thick walls so there’s a substance to the eating experience despite their smaller size. They are great for stuffing and also pickling.


Recipes:

Quick Pickled Cherry Peppers
Created by:
Joanna Miller

Add these to your next charcuterie board!  

Ingredients:

12cherry peppers, washed well
2cupswhite vinegar
2clovesgarlic, cut into thirds
1tsp salt
5 peppercorns

Instructions:

  1. With the tip of a knife, poke a few holes around the tops of the peppers. Place peppers and remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the peppers are slightly softened.
  2. Cool for approximately 30 minutes. Transfer peppers and brine to storage container and refrigerate. Eat peppers once they've cooled or store for up to a week in the refrigerator.
  3. Serve them whole or scoop out the seeds and stuff them with your favorite cheese or meat.


Hot Cherry Bomb Pepper Hot Sauce
Created by: Lesley at Lola Rugula

             
Drizzle it on your favourite protein or taco for a delicious kick!

Ingredients:
About 1 1/2 lbs. hot red cherry peppers (add less of these and more sweet for a milder hot sauce)
1/4 lb. sweet peppers (can use a mix of sweet yellow and orange peppers)
5 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 tsp kosher salt
3 cups white vinegar

Instructions:
1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to a healthy simmer and simmer, uncovered, for about an hour.

3. As peppers start to soften during the cooking process, smash the peppers open and stir them around occasionally.

4. Hot cherry peppers are thick-skinned so make sure they’re completely soft before removing from the heat.

  1. Remove from heat and let cool (to speed up the cooling process, you can fill your sink with a few inches of cold water, toss in a dozen ice cubes, then set the pan inside the ice water).
  2. Once cool, use a ladle to transfer the peppers and liquid to a food processor (or blender) and puree for a few minutes until fully smooth and blended.
  3. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a glass or stainless bowl (this will stain plasticware) and pour the mixture in, straining and pushing the liquid through the sieve with a spatula or flat spoon.
  4. Pour the strained hot sauce into a glass bottle or jar and refrigerate until ready to use.


Stuffed Cherry Hot Peppers
Created by:
Laura

These make the perfect appetizers anytime of year!

Ingredients:
6–8 fresh cherry peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup skim-milk ricotta cheese
kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the goat cheese and the ricotta, until well combined. Season with the salt and pepper, to taste.

  1. Spoon the goat cheese into the cherry peppers, mounding the cheese up a bit. Arrange the stuffed peppers onto a sheet pan and roast for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese begins to turn golden brown. Turn on the broiler, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, watching the peppers carefully so that they don’t burn, until the cheese begins to just bubble. Serve warm.

Tip:If you can find honey goat cheese, try it. The hint of sweetness adds a nice balance to the heat of the peppers. If not, plain goat cheese will still be delicious!


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