Bell peppers are the most popular variety of sweet pepper (the term sweet pepper distinguishes it from the other main branch of the pepper family, the pungent chiles). Like most peppers, bells start out green before ripening to their mature color, which is most often red, yellow, or orange, although some varieties turn purple, pearl white, or chocolate brown. Green bell peppers are actually unripe, which explains their slightly bitter, grassy flavor. Green peppers do have their place in some dishes, but ripe bell peppers have a gentler flavor.
1 medium bell pepper = 7 oz. = 1 cup fine (1/8-inch) dice = 1-1/3 cup medium (1/2-inch) dice = 2-1/2 cups thin (1/8-inch) slices
Substitute any sweet pepper.
Look for firm, brightly colored peppers with no soft spots, and pass over soft or withered ones. Though Holland peppers are great looking and uniform in shape, they don't necessarily have more flavor. Local peppers ripened on the vine are your best bet when in season.
For most preparations you'll need to remove the stem, seeds, and interior ribs. Peppers are especially delicious broiled or grilled until their skins blacken. Once cool, the charred skin peels easily away from the flesh, which has become soft and tender from the heat.
Store peppers in the crisper drawer in the refrigerator.