Bell peppers are a part of the nightshade family, along with tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes. They share a scientific name with hot peppers, Capsicum annuum, though they lack large amounts of capsaicin, which gives hot peppers their heat. Bell peppers are instead delightfully crispy and sweet.
The shape of a bell pepper makes it a great for stuffing. It can also be a yummy side dish when cut into strips, marinated in olive oil and balsamic vinegar with spices and herbs. Cooking bell peppers and removing their skin can reduce their acidity, though they are also great additions to salads, sandwiches or appetizer plates when raw. To remove the skin of the bell pepper (this method also works with hot peppers), place them in the broiler and rotate until evenly charred black. You can also char the peppers over the open flame on a gas stove top. Place peppers in a plastic bag to steam for several minutes. When cooled, the skin should easily peel off.
Store your bell peppers in a plastic bag in the fridge or in the crisper drawer. They should last a week or two; green peppers will usually last a little longer than red, yellow, or orange peppers. You can also freeze your bell peppers for later use in stews, omelets, and salsas. Just cut out the stem, scoop away the seeds, cut into strips or cubes, freeze flat on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag.
Roasting is also a great way to preserve your bell peppers for future culinary endeavors. Set the oven to 450°, roast the peppers for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally until fork tender and lightly charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam. Peel the skin off, remove the seeds and transfer to freezer bags for later use.