Tar Heel Kitchen: Garden Pepper Boats

by | Aug 6, 2015

Tar-Heel-Kitchen-largeSince 1926, the Agricultural Review has been a free newspaper published by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For many years, The Tar Heel Kitchen was a featured column written by the department’s marketing home economist.

These recipes tended to be seasonal with just a handful of ingredients. We thought these recipes needed to be shared in a new format. The Tar Heel Kitchen post will unearth a few of these timeless recipes each month. This week we are revisiting the August 15, 1973 issue and a recipe using NC-grown green peppers.

“Peppers are pepper-uppers! Beautiful and plentiful N.C. sweet peppers are available in good quality and supply,” said York Kiker, former NCDA&CS home economist. “In raw or cooked form, peppers can boost our dishes.” Green peppers are also low in calories and high in vitamin C.

Peppers of all types are plentiful in North Carolina in the summer. Kiker offers this advice when choosing green, or bell, peppers at the grocery store or farmers markets. “Watch for medium or dark green color and glossy sheen. Peppers should be relatively heavy and have firm walls or sides.” She also suggest avoiding peppers that are wilted, flabby, cut or bruised.

Peppers can be frozen too. Although Kiker warns that the freezer will cause them to lose some of their crispness. “Wash peppers, remove seeds and white membranes,” said Kiker. “Cut into halves. Scald for 2 minutes and freeze.”

For a way to include peppers into your breakfast. Heat a little butter and diced peppers in a skillet until peppers are slightly soften. Add beaten eggs and proceed to scramble. Kiker also offers this pepper dish that also includes many other in-season commodities.

Garden Pepper Boats

  • 3 medium green peppers, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn, fresh or canned
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked baby Lima beans
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs

Remove tops and seeds from peppers, Cut in half lengthwise. Cook peppers in boiling salted water for 5 minutes; drain. Cook onion in 2 tablespoons melted butter till tender but not brown. Add corn, tomato and Lima beans; mix well. Season pepper shells with salt and pepper to taste.

Fill peppers with vegetable mixture. Combine 1 tablespoon melted butter and bread crumbs; sprinkle on top of peppers. Place in baking dish. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.