Sputnik, Purple Peppers, Pickled Peppers
Another bountiful day at the Farmer’s Market day in Dewey Square. Gorgeous day and beautiful selection of produce, flowers, herbs, oils, soaps, pickles. Anyone ever seen kohlrabi? I read somewhere it’s also referred to as “sputnik” vegetable given its odd appearance. It was my first (at my age, “firsts” are harder and harder to come by. Part of the reason for fascination with Chef Ferran Adria’s techniques of presenting the familiar in completely new ways.)
This vegetable can be cooked, but is often eaten raw in salads. The flavor has been described variously as: similar to, but sweeter than broccoli stems; milder than a turnip or radish but also similar to those. It’s texture is somewhat like jicama or radish. We had to try it. Off to our friend J’s for a bbq, we volunteered to bring a salad. Fresh peppery arugula; cherry tomatoes, sweet as candy but full of tomato flavor yellow; a purple bell pepper (landing just about midway between a green bell pepper and a red, yellow or orange one) , cucumber and one delicious tomato from my father-in-law’s garden (what was left from our pancetta, lettuce, tomato snack – so good I got goosebumps!)
We picked up a purple bell pepper, now a regular purchase, and our first Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers. We also bought a lemon basil plant from our friends at the Herb Lyceum. I’d never tasted this type of basil before. Love it. A few leaves went into my pickled peppers, too. I’d have to say the kohlrabi did not win me over. Not bad, but I prefer jicama. The purple bell peppers, big hit, are a regular on the list now; and the Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers were so good I’m growing them in the container garden.
Check out my Suite101 column for my recipe for sweet and hot pickled peppers.