I was shopping at a favorite vendor at the farmers market. A cool bottle of their artisan hot sauce; four varieties of garlic; and several pimento peppers, the largest I’ve seen, nearly as large as a bell pepper. Not much of a haul, really, but the farmer felt compelled to give me something anyway.
Waving her hand over a small basket of yellow peppers, she said, “we planted seeds for these in February and this is all we got.” The yield was paltry indeed, six or seven peppers. But each was a beauty. Long, as long as a banana, longer, and twice as wide. “I guess that’s why they call them treasures,” she said, laughing. The joke: Each of the heirloom Golden Treasure peppers is prized because you get so few.
What to make with such a beauty? I settled on my favorite pepper dish: Peperonata, a saute flavored with garlic, onion, tomatoes and a slug of red wine vinegar — and threw in one of the pimentos as well. This recipe is a quick version of the Italian classic (adapted from an old cookbook, Classic Italian Cooking for the Vegetarian Gourmet, by Beverly Cox), and uses red and yellow bell peppers instead of the heirlooms. I added chicken to what is actually a vegetable side dish, cooking it with the peppers, for more flavor.