In Season: Cubanelle Peppers

Cubanelle peppers, sometimes referred to as Italian peppers, are long and thin and are usually a light yellowish green color.  There are also red varieties, and sometimes you’ll get a green pepper with some red portions, just like with bell peppers.  They are similar to Anaheim peppers, and can usually be used interchangeably.  (Left photo by cheneybrothers.com)

Growing up, these peppers were more a part of my culinary experience than any other type, as they are often seen used in Italian cooking.  My grandmother used them for a special sandwich filling we simply called “Peppers and Eggs”.  She would fry the peppers with a sliced onion in some olive oil, then add several beaten eggs to the pan, and stir until everything was cooked.  We’d eat them on delicious and crusty Italian bread, without any other embellishment.  My (non-Italian) father always insisted on putting mayonnaise on his sandwich, which was pure sacrilege in my grandparent’s house.  It actually isn’t terrible that way, but I have to stick to tradition on this one and eat mine straight-up, grazie. 

At the farmers market last week I grabbed several cubanelles for my basket.  They were smaller than what I usually see in the grocery store, but tasted sweet and delicious.  I also picked up a loaf of Italian bread, and although it was good, I must admit that very little compares to what the bakery in my grandparent’s Brooklyn neighborhood turned out each morning. 

 My parents were visiting that day, so I fried up a batch of peppers and eggs, just like Nana used to do when we visited (it was our favorite).  After 38 years of Italian-American indoctrination via marriage to my mom, my dad still asked for the mayonnaise…but at my house I’ll let it slide.  After all, I’m only half Italian. 

Peppers and Eggs

Serves 4

6 cubanelle peppers, sliced

1 small onion, sliced

6 eggs, lightly beaten

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

1 large loaf crusty Italian bread, cut in half lengthwise, and divided into four equal sections

In a large frying pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add peppers and onions and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 7-9 minutes (this step can be done a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator).

Lower the heat slightly and add the eggs to the pan. 

Using a heat-proof rubber spatula, gently stir the eggs around until soft curds form.

Continue to gently stir until eggs are softly cooked through and no longer runny. 

Spoon a generous amount onto cut Italian bread and eat warm.

Note:  Leftovers may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  They are easily reheated in the microwave. 

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