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(Photo courtesy of Mattitaco)

Green, yellow, red, orange, spicy or sweet. Peppers also come in all different sizes. And the summer months mean they are in season and plentiful. They can add some zing to an otherwise boring dish, bring in some bright rainbow colors, and pack in some serious flavor.

The staff at Mattitaco in Mattituck uses peppers to their advantage to pack a punch to their delicious dishes.

“We use peppers multiple ways,” owner Justin Schwartz said. “Grilled poblano peppers in our tacos and quesadillas. Spicier jalapeños and serrano peppers go into almost all of our salsas and guacamole. We save the super spicy peppers like ghost chili, Scotch bonnet, habanero, and reaper peppers for our hot sauces.”

The great thing about peppers is that they can jazz up just about any salsa. Take the mango salsa from Mattitaco, for example. It goes great with their bang bang shrimp taco or burrito but will pair well with just about any seafood. And it consists of diced mangos, diced red onion, juiced limes, salt, and chopped cilantro. And to add in a kick? One jalapeño with seeds and ribs removed.

Some other fun ways to use peppers while they are in season, Schwartz said, is to stuff some bell peppers and throw them on the barbecue, pickle them or make some jalapeño poppers (“I mean, c’mon,” he said).

To make one of the above pepper dishes, head to Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Riverhead or look out for them at farm stands across the North Fork.

Pepper Fun Facts

  • A component in hot peppers, capsaicin, is used in topical creams to relieve muscle aches.
  • Hot peppers have been shown to boost metabolism, in turn suppressing the appetite and helping slightly with weight loss.
  • To counteract the pain of a spicy pepper, don’t drink water. Instead, try a fat, like whole milk.

Health Benefits of Peppers

  • Low in calories
  • Excellent source of vitamins A and C
  • Contain high amounts of potassium and fiber