This year peppers have outdone themselves in both brilliance and abundance. Here are examples from Berkeley's Saturday farmers' market.
|Catalan Farm's colorful pepper display|
|Peppers from Quetzal Farm|
|Poblanos, Jalapenos and gypsy peppers at Catalan Family Farm|
|Yellow bells and green varieties|
Tantalized by the herbaceous scent of fresh green peppers, I decided to dig out a precious recipe for a Moroccan salad, taught by Paula Wolfert at a cooking class at La Grande Bouffe in San Francisco in the late 70's. It was at that event that I first learned how to peel peppers by blistering them in a 450 degree oven, enclosing them in a plastic bag for 15 minutes, then peeling and seeding them, while carefully preserving the juices. Now, paper bags are recommended for steaming the blistered peppers, and La Grande Bouffe is long gone, but those are the only changes. After tasting the salad in class, I duplicated it many times at home, most often without the preserved lemon. Then red peppers eclipsed green ones, Paula Wolfert moved on to the cuisine of South-West France, and for years I forgot about it.... 'til now.
|Fez Green Pepper and Tomato Salad from Paula Wolfert's class|