One of the joys of living in Minnesota is the enjoyment of all four seasons. For many, including our family, summer means the bounty of our backyard garden. The Schierer garden is full of spinach, lettuce and tomatoes. We enjoy mint, basil and beets. Tessa is a tremendous gardener, and typically my role is confined to restricting pests and enjoying the fruits and vegetables of her labor. The past couple of years have seen multiple unsuccessful attempts to keep deer and rabbits out. As much as some people have tried to convince me otherwise, fishing line does not keep deer out of a garden!
Our world looks different this summer. As for our garden, I (so far) have finally built a fence that keeps the deer and the rabbits out. And this year, I found myself with time to help plant the garden. What a pleasure! My son and I decided that we would plant a pepper garden. We ended up planting more than a dozen varieties of peppers — everything we could find from sweet bell peppers to hot ghost peppers. We have a lot of peppers!
Here is a simple sweet and sour pepper recipe that we make throughout the summer. It goes well with rice and beans wrapped in a tortilla, over eggs, or even with pasta. You can add crushed toasted nuts to texture, chiles to add heat and herbs to brighten.
This recipe makes more than you need for any one meal, so keep in the refrigerator along with a pot of rice and beans for a quick and healthy meal or freeze in one-cup portions and taste a little of the summer later this year. Happy summer!
• 1/4 cup canola oil.
• 4 yellow bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick strips.
• 4 red bell peppers, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick strips.
• 3 large yellow onions, cut into slivers.
• 15 cloves garlic, roughly chopped.
• 6 tablespoons tomato paste.
• 1 cup white wine vinegar.
• 1/2 cup dry white wine.
• 2 cups tomato sauce.
• 2 tablespoons honey.
• 2 tablespoons kosher salt.
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, combine the canola oil and peppers and sauté until just softened and fragrant, and the they begin to release a little liquid, 5-8 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and sauté just until the onions are soft; do not let them take on any color. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Add the vinegar and white wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. (The larger the pan, the faster the liquid in the mixture will reduce.)
Add 6 cups water, the tomato sauce, honey, salt, pepper and stir. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid thickens to the consistency of a salsa. The peppers and onions will keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for one week, or for up to three months in the freezer.
If you have a recipe you would like to feature in The Daily Journal, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.