Fresh Eats Blog: Bell Peppers

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: bell peppers.

Did you know red peppers are simply green ones left on the vine longer? (Courtesy of KT Ng)

Did You Know?

Did you know peppers were named by Spanish explorers searching for peppercorn plants to produce black pepper? Also, they are considered fruits because they are produced from a flowering plant and contain seeds.

Peppers are in season in South West British Columbia from July through to October! Bell peppers are the most cultivated in the pepper family and are good in salads, pizzas, soups, sandwiches, or eaten fresh as a snack.

Recipe of the Week

Bell Pepper Egg-in-a-Hole

Courtesy Martha Stewart 


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 bell pepper (any color), cut into four 1/2-inch-thick rings

4 large eggs

Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 teaspoons grated Parmesan

4 slices multigrain (or other) bread, toasted

8 cups mixed salad greens


Step 1- Heat one teaspoon of oil over medium-high in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet. Add bell pepper, then crack one egg into the middle of each pepper ring.

Step 2- Season with salt and pepper and cook until egg whites are mostly set but yolks are still runny, this is about two to three minutes. Gently flip and cook one minute more for over easy.

Step 3- Sprinkle with Parmesan and place each egg on a slice of toast.

Step 4- Toss salad greens with one teaspoon of oil and season with salt and pepper; serve alongside eggs.

Ingredients at the Market

Bell Peppers: Floralia Growers, Never Say Die

Cheese: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters

Eggs: Alder Creek Heritage Homestead, Forstbauer Family Natural Food Farm, Rockweld Farm

Bread: A Bread Affair, Delish Gluten Free, Gesundheit Bakery

Greens:  Amazia Farm, Beckmann Farm, Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Harvest Direct, Hill Top Farm, Langley Organic Growers, Mandair Farms, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Snowy Mountain Organics, Wah Fung Farm

Steps on How To

Bell Pepper Planting 101:

Step 1- As an option, plant three seeds in one pot, and thin out the weakest seedling. Let the remaining two pepper plants live as one plant. About a week before moving your plant into a bigger pot, introduce compost or other organic nutrients into the soil.

Step 2- Once the seedlings are large enough to transplant, place them 18-24 inches apart. Place the pot outdoors in a warm environment. You can warm up the soil by covering it with black plastic.

Step 3- Water the plants two to three times per week or if conditions are particularly dry, more frequent watering may be necessary. To help retain moisture you can add mulch to the surrounding area.

Step 4- Weed carefully around the plant and harvest as soon as the peppers reach desired size.

Note: Keep your plant as warm as possible for the best germination conditions. Also, the longer you keep the peppers on the vine, the greater vitamin C content.

Bell Peppers in B.C.

Bell peppers are considered a greenhouse vegetable by the B.C. government. The industry now relies on state-of-the-art facilities and production practices to produce high-quality fresh vegetables!

These advances in technology have extended the growing season and therefore has allowed consumers the option of buying locally during times when certain produce were not historically available.

Fresh Eats Blog: Radishes

Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: radishes.

Did you know every part of the radish is edible, including the leaves and developing seedpods?

 Did You Know?

Did you know radish plants are ideal for children’s gardens because they grow quickly? The scientific name for the genus that includes radishes is Greek for “quickly appearing.”

This low calorie food is in season in South West British Columbia for the months of June through to October. One cup of radishes is a mere 19 calories!

Recipe of the Week

Brown Butter Pan- Roasted Radishes


2 bunch radishes, assorted colours and types

2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil

½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter, melted

1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice

lemon wedges

Radishes are trap crops against pests, protecting the surrounding crops from pests.


Step 1- Trim the radishes so half an inch (1 cm) of the stem is intact; trim and discard roots. Scrub well and dry well. Wash the leafy green tops, dry well and coarsely chop; set aside.

Step 2- Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the radishes, cut side down. Sprinkle with salt. While cooking, shake the skillet occasionally for about five to seven minutes until golden. As an option, stir for an additional three minutes or until lightly coloured all over.

Step 3- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for three minutes or until butter is starting to brown and smell nutty; remove from heat.

Step 4- Stir the brown butter and lemon juice into the radishes. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped greens. Serve with lemon wedges.

Ingredients at the Market

Radishes: Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farm, Langley Organic Growers and Ripple Creek Organic Farm

Butter: Golden Ears Cheesecrafters

Steps on How To

Radish Planting 101:

Step 1- Place seeds one half to an inch deep and one inch apart into nutrient rich soil. You may choose to add manure or organic fertilizer to help with growth.

Step 2- After they have sprouted space the radishes to about two inches apart. Like most plants, radishes don’t like being over crowded.

Step 3- Radishes need sun. If they are planted in too much shade they will put all their energy into producing larger leaves.

Step 4- Harvest the plants promptly when the radishes are roughly the size of large marbles. This is before the roots get too woody and bitter.

Step 5- As an option, plant consecutively every two weeks or so if the weather is still cool for a continuous harvest of radishes.

Note: You can plant radishes in the fall, later than any other root crop in late summer or early fall and still get a harvest. Sowing radishes in the cooler times (March/April and again August through to October) is recommended. BUT for example, European radishes are planted in spring or summer and have a short cultivation time of three to four weeks.

Radishes in B.C.

The simplicity of growing radishes transitions right over into creating some delicious meals. All you need is a selection of radishes thinly sliced with some olive oil and herbs, and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer salad!

B.C. is one of the largest producers of radishes in Canada. As a country, radishes are a crop valued at more than $10 million.