Glossary

Peppers

Pepper

Pronounce it: pepp-ah

Sometimes called bell peppers or capsicums, these sweet, mild peppers come in variety of colours, and are related to chillies. Whatever colour they are, they're all essentially the same variety, but have been allowed to ripen to different degrees; green are the youngest and sharpest, followed by yellow, orange and then red, which are the sweetest.

You can also find longer, pointed examples, sometimes called Romano, which are sweeter still, as well as black peppers, which have a flavour similar to the green variety - when they're cooked they turn green, so it's best to use them raw if you want to keep their striking colour.

Availability

All year round, but the British season is March to October.

Choose the best

Look for glossy, firm, evenly coloured peppers, with no soft patches.

Prepare it

However you want to slice up a pepper, you always need to remove the core, pith and seeds. To skin peppers, lay them on a foil-lined grill pan and turn the grill to high. Turn them now and again until the skin is blackened all over, then put them in a bowl and cover with cling film, or seal in an airtight plastic bag. When they're cool, their skin can be peeled off easily with your fingers.

Store it

Fresh peppers will keep for a few days in the fridge. Roasted and skinned, as above, they'll keep for around a week, as long as they're covered in olive oil in an airtight container.

Cook it

Roast (35-40 minutes); cut into strips and stir fry (4-5 minutes).

Alternatives

Try chilli.