Look for brightly colored, glossy fruits
When you’re choosing sweet peppers, freshness is critical for good quality and flavor
All sweet peppers start out green and then ripen to the color that they’re bred to be, whether it’s yellow, gold, orange, red, or chocolate brown. (The purple and creamy white bell peppers recently on the market are actually in intermediate stages of ripening. And purple peppers turn green when you cook them, so if you like the color, use them raw). At the green stages, peppers are less sweet and can be harder to digest. I find that people who say they don’t like peppers have probably only eaten green ones. Green peppers are, of course, okay to eat, but I recommend buying ripe ones if they’re available.
Select bright, firm peppers with no soft spots or blemishes. Skins should be glossy and smooth with a visible sheen. Look for strong, clear color, whether it’s ivory, yellow, gold, orange, crimson, or chocolate; fully colored peppers have more sugars, better flavor, and are higher in beta carotene and vitamin-C. Stay away from rubbery-feeling, bruised, or dull-skinned peppers—they don’t look or taste as good.
Most pepper varieties are multipurpose. They’re good for frying, roasting, grilling,pickling, or just eating fresh.That said, some are moresuited than others to certainkinds of cooking. Thin-walled peppers like Cubanelles are often called frying peppers because they fry up more easily than thick-walled peppers do, while fleshy peppers like regular American bells and old-fashioned pimientos are better for stuffing and roasting. Little round cherry peppers are easiest to pickle whole.
Store peppers in the fridge in plastic vegetable bags and bring them to room temperature before using them. You’ll get the crispest texture and fullest flavor this way.
I love to gently sauté a colorful mix of sliced sweet peppers in a little olive oil until the peppers are slightly caramelized. Sometimes I add garlic or onions, but other times I just season them with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Then I heap these succulent morsels onto some fresh, crusty bread to feast on with some shaved Asiago and an oaky California Chardonnay.