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PlacerGROWN and Foothill Farmers’ Market by Susan Belknap
WHAT’S IN SEASON NOW: Peppers and local sausageOne of the best things about summer and early fall is enjoying the bounty of so many colorful fruits and vegetables found at local farmers’ markets. When it comes to bright colors, nothing beats the vibrant hues of the bell pepper. A favorite of many small-plot gardeners, peppers are one of the most popular vegetables consumed in the U.S. Who can resist a pepper’s crunch in salads, soups, stews and relishes? Peppers also go great with sausage and other locally raised meats. Not only is meat from grass-fed animals more nutritious but it tastes better, too. Buying veggies and meat from a local farmer also means your food hasn’t traveled far, so you know that it’s fresh.
SELECTION AND STORAGETo get the most flavor from a bell pepper, check for firmness and make certain the pepper is free of wrinkles. A tasty bell pepper should feel heavy in comparison to its size. Peppers will stay fresh for about a week when stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator; green peppers will keep their freshness a few days longer than red or yellow varieties.
How to Pair with WineMalbec wines with bold, fruity flavors and unique spicy notes are great with hearty dishes incorporating peppers. A lush and full-bodied Tempranillo would also couple well with dishes integrating bell peppers. Both varietals pair perfectly with this month’s Sausage and Peppers dish (for the recipe, visit stylemg.com). For a full list of local, Placer County wines, visit placerwine.com.
For a list of local Placer County farms, ranches and farmers’ markets, visit placergrown.org.