Looking to spice up your meals at dinnertime? Consider, for a moment, the Antohi Romanian Specialty Frying Pepper found in The Producer as well as Hot Mama’s Peppers and Chiles. This bright yellow pepper that ripens into a brilliant red will entice your taste buds with its bright, sweet flavor. It tastes sweetest fried, but can be baked, sautéed or even grilled for full flavor. If you are new to growing peppers, plan on sowing the seeds indoors in mid to late March. When spring is in full swing, you’ll find that they will become the coquettes of your garden. While you nurture and dote on them; they will ripen and plump, and undoubtedly bring promise of a flavorful dish!
Contrary to the popular belief, peppers are not annuals. Yet, they can be easy to grow if offered warm temperatures and plenty of sunlight. These frying peppers also do quite well in drained soils rich in calcium and phosphorus. Be sure to harvest them when they are green or mature, and use gardening scissors so to not damage the plant. Picking peppers when they are fully mature also encourages new buds to form.
These peppers are exceptionally flavorful when cooked in olive oil, and make a great addition topped on your favorite sandwich, or added to a stir-fry. The recipe below is fresh and tasty — one bite will have you lingering over the thought of leisurely dining on a Mediterranean coast. The best part? This sandwich can be ready in 20 minutes. Is it just us, or is it hard not to puff up your chest a bit when making a delicious sandwich using vegetables from your own garden?
Mediterranean-Style Vegetable Sandwich
(Makes 4 Sandwiches)
1 medium sized eggplant, sliced length-wise into ¼ inch thick rounds
1 tomato, sliced into rounds
½ onion, cut into half moon slices
5-6 Antohi Romanian Specialty frying peppers, de-seeded and sliced
8 ounces of Mozzarella cheese, ¼ inch slices (optional)
10-12 basil leaves
4 teaspoons Balsamic vinaigrette
¼ cup olive oil
8 slices of crusty French bread
salt and pepper to taste
Method: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay a single layer of the eggplant rounds on a baking tray. Brush each round with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping them over halfway for even cooking. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the pan, and add the onion, a pinch of salt, and your frying peppers. Sauté until tender and fragrant.
Once the eggplant has cooled, layer on the eggplant, onions, peppers, basil and cheese (if using) on a slice of crusty bread. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.