Bushels of chile peppers, like these Mira Sol peppers, wait to be roasted, peeled and preserved in the annual end-of-gardening celebration.
It’s official, summer’s really over. Sure, today’s the autumnal equinox, but for me gardening season ended on Saturday once the green chile peppers were bought, roasted, peeled and stacked neatly in the freezer.
Roasting green chiles is a fall gardening tradition around here and I can’t imagine autumn happening without it.
Whether it’s the chill in the air, the bright blue Colorado sky or the smell of fresh peppers roasting, there’s something special about a Saturday trip to the outdoor market to pick a peck of peppers and watch them tumble in the roaster until perfectly done.
The trip always includes buying pumpkins and warty gourds to decorate the house.
This year we went to Nick’s Garden Center and decided on Mira Sol peppers. They’re hotter than most varieties we’ve picked in the past, but the tasty cooked sample I enjoyed there assured me these peppers will be ideal in a green chile stew, a pot of posole soup, or in this recipe for an easy salsa to enjoy on game day:
Roasted Chile Chunky Salsa
2-3 small tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup (or more) roasted green chile peppers, roughly chopped
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to combine flavors.