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3 min read

This week’s Vegetable Box Feature: Sweet Pimento Pepper

Did you know?

  • They are a common pepper variety with a very low heat level (Jalapeño reference scale: 5 to 80 times milder).
  • They ripen from green to red and have thick, juicy flesh.
  • They are commonly confused with the Cherry pepper, a different cultivar that can be much spicier.
  • This pepper is the exact same pimento that you’ll find stuffed in olives.
  • They’ve got a few popular names. Pimentos are also referred to as pimientos, which is Spanish for peppers. It’s also widely known as the cherry pepper because, well, its shape is much like a large cherry! Some people also say it’s shaped like a heart.
  • They contain good sources of Vitamin C, Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin K.

Fun Fact:
The popular spice paprika is actually made from dried pimento pepper. So, you may have used this chili more often than you think as so many recipes call for a dash of that spice.

How to Store It:
It is easy to store peppers to keep them fresh for weeks or months. Store your peppers in the refrigerator to get about two to three weeks of life expectancy. There is no need to wash your peppers before storing them in the fridge, and actually, dry peppers are preferred because the excess moisture will not cause the peppers to rot or decay quickly.

How to Use It:
Pimentos are not very spicy and are commonly used to add sweetness, not heat to recipes. This pepper has become a top alternative to the bell pepper for lots of dishes, especially salads and pizzas. They’re also a top choice for making deep-fried poppers–peppers that are stuffed with cheese, coated with breading, and then deep-fried to create a golden crispy shell. Really there are lots of ways to use this chili. Try using it in your favorite recipe that calls for a bell pepper to add a surprisingly unique twist to the dish. They can also be pickled for a great sandwich topper.


Recipes:

Easy Pickled Pimento Peppers
Created By:
Jenny Everett

Delicious sandwich topper or added to your next charcuterie board.

Ingredients:
6 Pimento peppers
10 whole peppercorns
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 cups distilled white vinegar
3 TBSP Kosher salt
¼ cup sugar

Instructions:
1. Halve 6 cups of pimento peppers (or cut into rings), leaving seeds intact.

2. Place peppers in large jar with 10 whole peppercorns and 3 peeled garlic cloves.

3. Heat the distilled white vinegar in a saucepan over medium and kosher salt and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour over peppers and bring to room temperature. Seal jar and refrigerate for at least one day before using.

One Pot Shrimp Dish
Created by:
Jenny Everett

A delicious and easy one pot dinner!

Ingredients:

1 onion, diced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP oil
2 tsp paprika
2 cups long-grain rice
1 cup white wine
3 cups warm seafood stock
6 pimento peppers, cut into rings
2 bay leaves
1 lb peeled shrimp

Instructions:

1. Sauté onion in olive oil on medium-low for 10 minutes.
2. Add carrot, celery, and minced garlic clove. Sauté 15 minutes.
3. Add, over medium-high, tomato paste, oil, paprika, long-grain rice. Toast 2 minutes.
4. Deglaze* with white wine. Reduce heat; add warm seafood stock.
5. Top with pimento peppers and bay leaves. Simmer 15 minutes.
6. Add peeled shrimp. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste.

* Deglaze refers to the act of pouring hot liquid into a pan and unsticking the caramelized bits of food that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. This is due to the fact that a lot of the time, fats, spices, and other ingredients roast as they are cooking and become stuck to the pan.

Stuffed Pimento Peppers
Created by: CD Kitchen


Ingredients:
1 1/2lb sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 1/2 cup coarsely grated zucchini
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
8 medium pimento peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded
fresh rosemary sprigs


Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  1. Mix first 9 ingredients in large bowl until well blended (could add Parmesan if desired). Fill pepper halves with sausage mixture, dividing equally and mounding slightly.
  2. Arrange in 13- x 9- x 2-inch baking dish. Bake peppers uncovered until tops are browned and thermometer inserted into filling registers 165 degrees F, about 1 hour.
  3. Transfer peppers to platter. Garnish with rosemary sprigs and serve.

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