MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Features

July 16, 2014

Peppers provide colorful variety of summer flavor

A much welcomed cool spell in the middle of July will provide local produce farms and market gardens a nice break from the summer heat, and will give some crops such as tomatoes and peppers a good chance to set more fruit for late summer and fall harvest.

Cooler temps also will make it more comfortable in the kitchen for canning or running the oven to prepare dishes such as the pepper and sausage recipe below.

Green bell peppers and a few colored varieties, plus sweet banana and other peppers are now readily available at the Muskogee Farmers Market, under the pavilions in front of the Civic Center on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.

Other fresh locally grown produce available at the Muskogee Farmers Market includes beets, blackberries, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, cucumbers (picklers and slicers), eggplant, garlic, grape tomatoes, green beans, green tomatoes, honey, jalapeno peppers, kale, lettuce, microgreens, mustard greens, new potatoes, okra, onions (green and bulb), peaches, radishes, rhubarb, red ripe tomatoes, shelled peas, summer spinach, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, turnips, yellow squash, yellow wax beans and zucchini (green and gold, eight-ball and regular shaped).

Growers also will be selling fresh basil, cut-flower bouquets and a few water plants. Other food items available at the market include farm-fresh free-range eggs; Lovera’s hand-formed cheese; Italian sausage; pasta sauce and pickled products; jellies; jams; honey; syrups; dried herbs and spices; handmade tortillas; tamales and burritos; plus hot dogs, polish sausages, chicken or vegan dogs with grilled veggies, all the fixings; and lemonade with fresh mint.

Vendors also will be there with jewelry and other handcrafted items including chunks of hickory, pecan and fruitwood for smoking, candles, soaps, incense, natural body care products, pet treats and more.

SAUSAGE AND

PEPPERS

Makes four to six servings

2 pounds spicy Italian sausage links

4 peppers in assorted colors (or all green), seeded and cut into chunks

1 large yellow onion, quartered

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon fennel seed

2/3 cup dry white wine

1/3 cup chicken stock

Place sausage in roasting pan and cover with pepper chunks and onion quarters. Sprinkle with oregano and fennel seed. Pour wine and stock over, and mix. Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees; toss. Bake 30 minutes more, or until sausage is cooked through. Serve hot as a side dish or main dish.

Reach Doug Walton at (918) 360-2012 or doug.ewalton@gmail.com.

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