Chile Pepper Institute
If you're a true pepper-head with a taste for things pungent, you'll enjoy visiting the Web site of the Chile Pepper Institute, hosted by New Mexico State University. Along with pepper history, growing tips, and pungency ratings, there's a great graphic on chile pepper anatomy, and a fantastic section on diseases, disorders, and pests.
Marinate Summer Vegetables
In answering the age-old question, "What's for dinner?" it's easy to forget that the simplest things are sometimes the best. This time of year I make a jar of marinated vegetables every few days, so they're always ready and waiting in the fridge. Vary the mix of vegetables and try different herb accents, too. Many folks like this dish best with a splash of olive oil on top, or you can give it more body with feta cheese or a can of black beans, rinsed and drained.
4 cups assorted veggies, cut into 1-inch chunks, such as summer squash, cucumbers, halved cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, or snap beans.
3 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into thin strips
1 large clove garlic, quartered
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white or wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Mix vegetables and basil together and place in a clean quart jar or plastic container. Place remaining ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then pour over vegetables. Chill well and serve. Flavors improve as they marry.