Let me tell you about the prettiest darn pepper I ever saw. I’m apparently on a roll with the fresh produce features (which have recently included shallots and figs). All the credit goes to Farmhouse Delivery and the wonderful network of local Austin farmers they work with and support, who have been bringing these seasonal gems right to my doorstep.
To think that they actually sent me an email apologizing for having to include these sweet peppers in my bushel, in place of some other promised produce that hadn’t fared very well during our recent rainspell (yes, it rains during Texas summer—even us Texans had almost forgot!).
When I first yanked two big red bell peppers out of my box, I was pleased, but nowhere near as ecstatic as when I spotted those figs a few weeks back. I love bell peppers, sure! They just hadn’t really caught my eye.
That was until one of them rolled down the counter to reveal its other side, which was so beautiful I audibly gasped. You may have seen bell peppers with blended colors in the supermarket, but this was unlike anything I’d seen before. Swirls of orange, yellow, and green faded in and out of the underlying red, like a scoop of melting rainbow sherbet, like a lava lamp in action. I wish I would have thought to take a photo before I cut ‘er up, but oh, well.
This pepper was almost too beautiful to cook. Almost. I did anyway, simply grilled, which preserved some of its splendor. It might have been nice to do raw strips topped with a spread or dip or to add it to a marinated veggie salad, just to keep it more colorful and intact.
I think part of what made this particular pepper so pretty was how it was grown. Blended color peppers aren’t super unique, but this one had a liveliness and vibrancy to the color that almost made it seem alive, in motion. Just one of those nuances of organic veggies grown with love that you can’t ever plan for or describe adequately.
At this point I can hardly hold my horses to get my next batch of farm produce. Thank you, Austin farmers; the prettiest pepper was just as tasty as it was lovely.