Known for their fiery heat, chili peppers (also called chilies or hot peppers) are rich in vitamins A and C. The more than
200 varieties range from ¼ inch to 12 inches in length.
Season: Year-round for most fresh (and all dried) chilies.
How to Choose Chile Peppers
Look for smooth skin with deep color and no bruises or soft spots. In general, the smaller the chili, the more heat it will pack. Lantern-shaped habaneros are the hottest; jalapenos (known as chipotles when dried) are the most commonly available; poblanos are richly flavored (in dried form, they're called anchos); Anaheims are generally mild and good for stuffing.
How to Store Chile Peppers
Fresh chilies will keep in a paper bag in the refrigerator's vegetable compartment for up to 2 weeks. Store dried chilies in an airtight container in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for up to 4 months.
How to Prepare Chile Peppers
Use caution when working with chilies; touching your eyes or sensitive skin after handling a hot pepper can cause irritation and burning (some people wear plastic gloves). Reduce the heat of a chili by discarding its seeds and membranes, where the majority of the fire comes from.
How to Use Chile Peppers
Use chilies to add a bit of kick to soups, stews, dips, and sauces.
Real Simple Chile Peppers Recipes:
- Chiles Rellenos
- Mushroom and Poblano Tostadas
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Polenta-Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Turkey and Poblano Chili
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.