Search for habanada pepper - 267 results found

beet fusilli, celery, scallion, habanada pepper, breadcrumbs

It had been a stressful day for both of us, beginning with a 5:15 am wake-up, but I still wanted to put some kind of homemade dinner on the table. What we got was some delicious comfort food that I quickly improvised 15 or so hours later.

    • eight ounces of boiled Sfolini Beet fusilli pasta, some of the cooking water reserved (note: this pasta only takes about 5 or 6 minutes to cook, and it goes to al dente with virtually no warning), drained and stirred into a large, heavy, vintage tin-lined copper pan in which about a tablespoon of olive oil had been heated before a handful of chopped young celery stalks from Phillips Farms and one chopped Japanese scallion from Norwich Meadows Farm had been tossed in and sautéed until all of the pieces had softened, after which one section of golden/orange dried habanada pepper, sea salt, and freshly -ground black pepper were added and stirred in, the pasta and vegetables stirred over a moderate flame along with some of the pasta water until the liquid was emulsified, the sauced pasta arranged in 2 low bowls, some olive oil drizzled around the edges, sprinkled with sprinkled with toasted home-made breadcrumbs, and scattered with chopped celery leaves
    • the wine was an Italian (Marche) white, Le Salse, Verdicchio di Matelica, 2015, from Flatiron Wines
    • the music was Haydn’s Symphony No. 60, ‘Il Distratto’, and No. 91, performed by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

the habanada pepper: fresh, and dried two ways

I’ve used and written about these peppers so often, both fresh, as seen above, when they were available last summer, and now home-dried, that I decided I had to do a special post about them alone, if only to have something to link to.

The Habanada is a highbred pepper which was developed only recently; I think it it’s a very special one.

This paragraph, from a page on the Cornel University Small Farms Program site, is an introduction to their origin story, which, like most such stories, includes a hero:

Habanada is a brand new pepper, the first truly heatless habanero (hence the haba-nada) bursting with all the bright, tropical flavor of the fruit unmasked. Many attempts have been made over the years but none have achieved the fullness of flavor with absolutely zero heat. Their crisp, thin skin has an exotic, floral flavor like no pepper I have ever tasted. From cast-away seed to a signature show-stopper variety, Michael Mazourek has brought this pepper a long way in just thirteen generations.

I’ve encountered Habanadas only at Norwich Meadows Farm, in the Union Square Greenmarket.

When dried, which I did myself in order to extend their season through the winter and spring, at the suggestion of Haifa Kurdieh, who runs the farm with her husband Zaid, they look like this:

I retrieved the darker, very serious looking mahogany-colored batch from the oven just in time; they have more than a hint of smokiness (and, oddly something like an anise scent), in addition to the elements they retain from the original Habanero. The golden orange ones, which were my second try, are somehow both more gentle and more powerfully aromatic; they’re quite perfect, in every way.

This is a close-up of the dried golden orange, just after they came out of the oven:

All three versions have been wonderful additions to many parts of many meals over the last 6 or 8 months. I miss the fresh peppers, but I’ve been using both the darker and the lighter versions more than frequently ever since I dried them last fall, as a quick search will show. They work with everything, meat, fish, eggs, pasta, vegetables. The only difficulty they present, I might confess, is controlling my addiction (and deciding which of the 2 to use in any particular application).

rye trumpets, ramps, habanada, pepperoncino, parmesan

It was almost a night off, since, although there were 2 courses, this meal was very easy to throw together.

  • most of the bulb sections, including stems, of a bunch of ramps from Berried Treasures, heated with a little olive oil inside a heavy, high-sided, tin-lined copper pan with a bit of crushed dried dark habanada pepper and about the same amount of a crushed dried Sicilian pepperoncino from Buon Italia until the alliums had softened and begun to give pff an aroma, mixed with half a pound of Sfoglini rye blend ‘trumpets which had been cooked seriously al dente, the roughly chopped ramp leaves now added and everything (including some of the reserved pasta water) tossed and stirred over a low-to-moderate flame for a couple of minutes to blend the flavors and the ingredients, served with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Vache Rosse from Eataly

There was a antipasto, served immediately before the trumpets.

  • three ounces of an incredibly delicious salumi, La Quercia Ridgetop Prosciutto, from Whole Foods, drizzled with a very small amount of Alce Nero DOP ‘Terra di Bari Bitonto from Eataly
  • baby arugula from Lani’s Farm, also drizzled with the oil
  • slices of Bien Cuit rye and sunflower bread from Foragers Market


peppers-roasted squid; grilled tomatoes, balsamic; arugula

This dinner may be almost the opposite of the one we enjoyed the day before.  but, while It was more Mediterranean, and certainly lighter, in several ways, it was a meal of game. For all of their suggestion of undomesticated ruggedness, neither the pork chops nor the chestnuts represented the idea of ‘game’ as much as the beautiful wild squid that dominated this entrée.

We enjoy game at least 3 or 4 times a week, thanks to the city’s maritime geography and the labors of our local fishers.

I’ve used this basic recipe for squid more than any other, rarely altering its simple outlines, but this time, with a wealth of seasoning peppers in the crisper, I just couldn’t help checking out what their input could do for a standard. I decided that while the squid doesn’t need the embellishment, a few little peppers do liven up the old standard.

  • a large rectangular enameled cast iron pan heated on top of the stove until hot, its cooking surface brushed with olive oil, and once the oil was quite hot, one pound of rinsed and carefully dried large squid from P.E. & D.D. Seafood, quickly arranged inside, immediately sprinkled with a heaping teaspoon of super-pungent dried Sicilian oregano from Buon Italia, one small red-orange finely-chopped aji dulce pepper and one small yellow Grenada pepper, neither really hot, but both pungent and both from Eckerton Hill Farm, a section of orange/golden home-dried habanada pepper, picked up fresh from Norwich Meadows Farm last summer, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, followed by a douse of 3 tablespoons of juice from an organic Whole Foods lemon, and a splash of olive oil, the pan placed inside a pre-heated 400º oven and roasted for only 5 minutes, at which time when their bodies had ballooned, removed, the squid distributed onto 2 plates and ladled with a bit of the cooking juices that had been collected and transferred to a glass sauce pitcher

  • three Opalka plum tomatoes from Eckerton Hill Farm, each sliced in half and placed face down on a plate which had been spread with sea salt and black pepper, their surfaces dried somewhat with a paper towel before placed inside a hot grill pan, not disturbed for 2 or 3 minutes, then turned over for another  minute, finished on the plates with a bit of olive oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar

penna rigata, scapes, tomato, sweet pepper, basil, pecorino

I think that simple assemblages of a good fresh or dry pasta and good ingredients, sometimes, but not necessarily always fresh ingredients, are among the most satisfying meals of all, in the preparation and in the eating, and this was one of the best.

It’s the sort of meal that asks for no real skill, no precise ingredients, no strict amounts, no fat wallet, no long preparation, no strictures on hotness, and neither meat nor fish.

The quality of the ingredients is the one essential, and, along with several other choice bits, this dinner benefited from these beauties:

  • almost 9 ounces of Afeltra 100% Grana Italiano Penna di Rigata [sic] from Naples via Eataly Flatiron, cooked al dente, drained, then tossed into a large heavy antique high-sided copper pot in which less than one-inch-long sections of 4 garlic scapes from Berried Treasures Farm had been slowly heated in flavored cooking fats reserved from the preparation of the previous day’s meal (a bit of roughly-chopped rocambole garlic and thin scallion, both from Keith’s Farm, that had been heated in a little Whole Foods Market Portuguese house olive oil and a bit of Organic Valley ‘Cultured Pasture Butter’ until softened) adding a little additional olive oil, straight, until the scapes had begun to soften, then 5 or 6 thinly-sliced, very pungent yellow seasoning peppers (I’ve forgotten their proper name) added to the pot and stirred, and about 3 quarters of a cup of reserved pasta cooking water gradually added, stirred over a fairly high flame until the liquid had emulsified, seasoned with sea salt, and 14 of “the best cherry tomatoes” from Stokes Farm, halved, slipped into the mix and stirred with the pasta before some torn leaves of Gotham Greens Rooftop, basil from Whole Foods were added, the pasta arranged inside shallow bowls, olive oil drizzled around the edges, scattered with more basil before some Sini Fulvi Pecorino Romano D.O.C. from Whole Foods Market was grated on top of everything
  • the wine was an Italian (Veneto) white, Il Conte, Pinot Grigio 2017 from Flatiron Wines


[the last image, of a 5th century BC Olympiad depicted on a black figure vase, is from a review of Pergolesi’s ‘L’Olimpiade’, with the same Metastasio libretto Vivaldi used, as did some 50 other composers]