March - Salmon and Peppers
Peppers (Capsicum) belong to the wider family of Solanaceae, which includes potatoes, tomatoes and aubergines.
- Peppers can also be known as Capsicums, bell peppers, sweet peppers or called by their colour e.g. red pepper.
- They are related to chilli peppers but are not hot themselves.
- Peppers can be enjoyed raw in salads or can be added to stir fry’s, casseroles and sauces.
- Green peppers are unripe red peppers and have a more bitter, acidic taste. Yellow and orange peppers are different varieties of pepper and taste a lot sweeter.
- You can grow your own peppers quite easily in containers or open ground in a sheltered, sunny spot in your garden. More information is available from the Royal Horticulture Society: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own/vegetables/peppers
- Peppers are high in Vitamin C and low in calories and sodium. They also contain no fat or cholesterol.
- Evidence shows that eating 5 portions of fruit and veg a day can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke and obesity.
- ½ a Pepper = 1 of your 5 a day
How to prepare:
- Look for the firmer, smoother peppers. Wrinkling skin means the pepper has started to age.
- Slicing – remove the core, pith and seeds.
- Peeling – line a grill pan with foil and grill peppers on a high heat until the skin is blackened. Add them to a bowl and cover them until they are cool enough to peel.
- Stuffing – peppers can be stuffed with garlic, rice or cheese and then roasted in the oven.
- Simmering – peppers are a great addition to plum tomatoes to create a tasty, flavoursome sauce
- Frying – added to a pan with oil, peppers can be part or fully fried for a great addition to a stir-fry or salad.
- Peppers will last a relatively long time if kept chilled in a dark place.
Salmon belongs to the Salmonidae family along with trout and whitefish.
- Salmon is a very popular, very delicate fish with sweet flesh. Whilst farmed salmon can be found all year round, wild salmon can only be found from March to September.
- In the UK, our main source of salmon is from Scotland
- Salmon flesh is usually pink but can range in colour from red to orange.
- As with all fish consumption, sustainability is a major issue. Several varieties of salmon are sustainable however and you can find more information at msc.org.
- Salmon is a great source of protein and is high in potassium, selenium and vitamin B12.
- It is filled with omega-3 fats, which are good for the heart, joints and brain.
- Scientists believe that eating oily fish at least three times a week may lower the risk of heart disease, cancers, Alzheimer’s, asthma, depression, diabetes and high blood pressure.
How to prepare:
- Salmon can be bought fresh, frozen, canned or smoked. Fresh salmon should have smooth moist skin.
- If bought from a fishmongers, it can be gutted and scaled for you.
- Check the fish for bones and pluck out with tweezers.
- Make sure that the salmon is cooked through by checking the thickest part. The flesh should be firm but moist and flaky.
- Raw – can be eaten as sashimi or sushi
- Poached – lower into simmering water and cook for 5 minutes (thickness dependent)
- Frying – add salmon fillets to an oiled pan over a medium-high heat
- Grilling – add to a grill pan and grill on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes each side
- Fresh salmon should be eaten within 2 days but can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once defrosted, it should not be refrozen.
We have pulled together some of our delicious recipes using peppers and salmon for you to try below. Alternatively search our recipe collection here for more inspiration.