DAYS TO HARVEST
Harvest when the peppers turn bright red. They will keep very well on the plant for a while, especially in dry weather, but harvest and bring them in for drying often if you are having a wet season so that they don’t over-ripen and begin to go off. String up in “ristras” for drying–decorative and delicious!
USES & COOKING SUGGESTIONS
These peppers have a fairly tough outer skin, since the intended use for this pepper is to dry it and grind it to a powder (or flakes if you prefer.) They are very sweet, and can also be eaten fresh, but are best dried and ground to flavor dishes from curries to chilis, from sprinkling on deviled eggs to adding to salad dressings or dips. For a simple but delicious dip for fresh veggies, chips, etc. mix 1 cup quark with 1/2 a cup sour cream, add 1/4 of a medium-sized red onion, chopped very finely, a tablespoon of freshly ground paprika, 3 tablespoons fresh chopped (or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried) dill, and then add herb salt and black pepper to taste.
Note: You can use all sour cream if you want a richer dip, or if you can’t get a hold of quark, which is a soft, fresh cheese, or you can use ricotta to replace the quark and add a little squeeze of lemon juice since ricotta is sweeter than quark.
Also: for the adventurous chef–try smoking some peppers when they are nearly dry to add that smoky sweetness to chilies, barbecue sauces, dry rubs for meats, roasted veggies, pasta dishes and more!