A riot of colour and an array of shapes and sizes greet the gardeners at The Chef’s Garden @ Epicurean each day during the season when they arrive at the capsicum patch.
Big, small, long, fat, thin and every shape you can imagine and in just about every colour you can think of that’s what our range of organically grown capsicums look like.
Belonging to the nightshade (Solanaceae) family, capsicums also known as peppers and sweet and bell peppers, like other members of this family aubergines, tomatoes and potatoes are native to Central and South America where they have been cultivated for at least 9,000 years.
Capsicums are rich in Vitamins A and C and have good levels of potassium and B vitamins.
Availability: Summer to early autumn
SELECTION, STORAGE, PREPARATION & USING
- Selection: Our organically grown capsicums vary in size, shape and colour, but no matter the colour, size or shape capsicums should be firm with glossy skins and feel heavy for their size.
- Storage: Keep in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
- Preparation: The internal membranes of capsicums contain flavonoids and do not have to be removed, leaving them in adds flavour. Wash under cold running water, pat dry, then prepare as required for your recipe. To chop, dice or cut into strips, half capsicum lengthwise, remove core, seeds and membranes, if desired, and place skin side down on cutting surface and cut as desired. Alternatively, cut top from capsicum, remove seeds and membranes, if desired, and cut horizontally, into rings of desired thickness.Capsicums are also great stuffed either whole or halved. For whole stuffed capsicums, cut top from fruit (reserve, if desired), then remove seeds and membranes. Spoon in chosen filling, top with reserved capsicum top and bake until capsicum is tender and filling is heated through.
For stuffed capsicum halves, split lengthwise, spoon in chosen filling and bake until capsicum is tender and filling is heated through.
- Using: Eaten raw in salads, baked, grilled, roasted, stir-fried or stuffed, capsicums are a vibrant addition to summer dishes.
- Grilled Capsicums: Preheat barbecue to a high heat. Place a selection of capsicums in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Place capsicums on barbecue grill and grill for 10-15 minutes or until skins are blistered and charred. Transfer capsicums to a large bowl, cover with plastic food wrap and leave until cool enough to handle – covering causes the capsicums to steam and makes it easier to remove the skins. If only roasting 1 or 2 capsicums, putting them in a plastic food bag achieves the same result.
Recipes Using Capsicums