Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Variety Show - Marconi Red

Marconi Red

The Marconi Red is an Italian heirloom that produces three-lobed, tapered fruit that can be up to 12 inches long and 3 or 4 inches at the shoulder. This is an excellent red sweet pepper with an amazing taste. Plants need alot of time to produce their fruit and ripen them to red. Yield is variable. But, the quality makes the effort well worth it. This has become our second favorite sweet pepper for fresh eating (behind Golden Treasure), but we only get them for a short time in September *most* years. The shape of these is alot like a stretched out bell pepper since the ends of the fruit usually don't come to a point like Golden Treasure. They're pretty good green, but far better red.  These plants seem to need more growing degree days than some of the other peppers we grow.  Plants can be somewhat sizeable (but not quite as big as Napolean Sweet).  We love what we get in a good year, but suspect those in southern Iowa and points south (zone 5 and 6) would get more consistent production. We tried a few of these in the high tunnel during the 2013 season and were pleased with the results. They definitely loved the heat.

Oddly enough, 2014 was a good year for Marconi Red.  We're not entirely sure why that was since the season was cool.  But, we also know that if you hit the timing perfectly on a crop for a given season, all is well.  We have improved our methodology for getting our peppers a head start in the season, so this may account for better production recently.

Garlic Vegetables
This is a summer squash and zucchini recipe with garlic and peppers and other ingredients.
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika or some ground papricka pepper
• 1/2 cup scallions/onions, sliced
• 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 1 medium Marconi Red pepper, cut into strips
• 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
• 1 medium yellow summer squash sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
• 1 medium zucchini sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add paprika and stir thoroughly. Add scallions and garlic; saute for 2 minutes. Add all other ingredients, partially cover and sauté over medium low heat for 15 to 17 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

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