September 17th, 2012 • Posted by Laura Levy • Permalink
September 22nd marks the onset of fall, though we haven’t just yet begun to experience autumnal weather. Warm temperatures persist, and with them come delicious late summer produce like heirloom peppers and juicy pears.
Derived from the Sanskrit word pippali (“long pepper”), peppers require long periods of heat and sun if they are to reach ripeness. Gypsy peppers, sweet Italian Frying Peppers, Lilac Bells, Cayenne, Pimenton de Pardon, Corno Di Toro, Chartreuse Pepperoncini, and Cheesecake Pimientos are now coming to fruition, their various shapes and sizes presenting a wealth of stuffing, sautéing, grilling, and roasting options.
Larkspur’s menu showcases peppers in their tasty Croque de Poivrons (an assorted heirloom pepper and marinated eggplant sandwich, with artichoke tapenade and cucumber salad). Gypsy peppers get paired with a menagerie of lust-worthy seafood, like Gulf prawns, swordfish, and clams, on Left Bank Menlo Park’s Thursday Le Plat Régionaux (“daily addition”), the Tagine de Fruites de Mer, along with Yellow Finn potatoes and saffron spiced broth.
September’s seasonal peppers are reflected, too, in Left Bank Santana Row’s menu. The Jarret d’Agneau Côte d’Azur boasts a profusion of roasted bell peppers paired with Chablis wine braised lamb shank, orzo pasta, pea sprouts, olives, gremolata, and lamb jus.
Pears will be popping up at local farmers markets soon—Delta Bartletts, French Butter pears, D’Anjou, Comice, Bosc, and Froelles. Indulge in a seasonal pear salad in the form of Left Bank Larkspur’s Le Boudin Blanc Truffé, (hoursemade bratwurst, pear salad, mashed potatoes, truffle oil). The only fruit which ripens off of the tree, pears are actually cousins to apples, both of which are members of the rose family (oui, it’s true!). Divine as they are in sweet desserts, pears also embrace salty flavors. Consider adding slices to your salad, along with cheese and nuts, or, use to make chutney and pair with pork.