We know it's easy to buy bell peppers any time of the year in the supermarket, but summer is the season when these sweet peppers are the best. If you grow your own peppers, you know what we're talking about.

These awesome fruits (yes, peppers are a fruit) are so commonplace, however, that they can also be taken for granted. But with a sweet flavor, crunchy texture and myriad colors -- red, yellow, orange, green and even purple -- peppers should not be underrated. Bell peppers are irreplaceable in certain recipes, like fajitas or stir-frys, and add a serious zing to others, like salads, curries or soups.

Here are tk bell pepper recipes that let this underrated FRUIT shine.

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  • Stir-Frys

    A hot wok or pan and just a little oil are all you need to stir-fry bell peppers. You want to work quickly so that the peppers retain their crispness but are still tender to bite. You can use bell peppers in any number of stir-fry recipes. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/tea-smoked-tofu-with-pepp_n_1313733.html" target="_hplink">Tea-Smoked Tofu with Pepper and Pork</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/stir-fried-carrots-corn-_n_1062548.html" target="_hplink">Stir-Fried Carrots, Corn and Peppers</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/wok-fried-black-pepper-sh_n_1059646.html" target="_hplink">Wok-Fried Black Pepper Shrimp with Bell Peppers</a></strong>

  • Sandwiches

    Bell peppers are great in sandwiches, subs and hero sandwiches. Feel free to use pickled or marinated bell pepper from the jar or use your own roasted or grilled peppers. If you choose to grill or broil your peppers, you should cook them on all sides over high heat until the skins are charred. Then add them to a bowl, cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Peel the skins using paper towels and deseed the peppers. Now you're ready to use the peppers any way you want. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/sausage-and-pepper-heros_n_1058666.html" target="_hplink">Sausage and Pepper Heroes</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-vegetable-sandwic_n_1058476.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/bistro-flank-steak-sandwi_n_1056426.html" target="_hplink">Bistro Flank Steak Sandwiches</a></strong>

  • Salads

    Any way you slice or dice them, bell peppers add a nice, sweet crunch to salads. Serve them thinly sliced or julienned or chop or dice them -- it's all dependent on the kind of salad. For a grain salad, you'll want them in small dice but in a green salad you may want them in thin slices. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/15/quinoa-sweet-peppers-an_n_1151659.html" target="_hplink">Quinoa, Sweet Peppers and Fig Salad</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/curried-salad-with-egg--_n_1062389.html" target="_hplink">Curried Salad with Vegetables</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-pepper-salad_n_1056701.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Pepper Salad</a></strong>

  • Stews And Curries

    Peppers add wonderful sweetness and color to any number of stews and curries. Try it in a Southeast Asian curry or a Hungarian paprikash. It's best to slice the peppers in long strips so they stay firm during the long cooking time. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/thai-beef--peppers_n_1056875.html" target="_hplink">Thai Beef and Peppers</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/vegetable-curry_n_1057247.html" target="_hplink">Vegetable Curry</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/chicken-paprikash_n_1058296.html" target="_hplink">Chicken Paprikash</a></strong>

  • Dips And Spreads

    Dips and spreads are great to dip into and red bell peppers add a sweet depth of flavor that's hard to resist. You'll want to use marinated peppers from the jar or roast, broil or grill your own peppers and be sure to remove the skins. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/cheddar-and-roasted-red-p_n_1057141.html" target="_hplink">Cheddar and Roasted Red Pepper Spread</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/roasted-red-pepper-and-wa_n_1059263.html" target="_hplink">Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/roasted-pepper-and-carame_n_1056745.html" target="_hplink">Roasted Pepper and Caramelized Onion</a></strong>

  • Pasta

    Peppers add pops of color and sweet flavor to many pasta dishes. You can use jarred peppers, roasted peppers, grilled peppers or sauteed peppers. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/pasta-salad-with-grilled-_n_1058602.html" target="_hplink">Pasta Salad with Grilled Sausages and Peppers</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/scallop-scampi-with-peppe_n_1062530.html" target="_hplink">Scallop Scampi with Peppers</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/sweet-potato--red-pepper_n_1061798.html" target="_hplink">Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta</a></strong>

  • Pizza

    Peppers make a pretty topping on pizza not to mention a flavorful one. Add as many colors of peppers as you like -- all will look terrific. Slice the peppers into thin, long strips so they cook as fast as the pizza does. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/personal-pizzas_n_1057235.html" target="_hplink">Personal Pizzas with Spinach and Peppers</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/14/pepperoni--pepper-pizza_n_1516152.html" target="_hplink">Pepperoni and Pepper Pizza</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/sausage-pepper--mushroo_n_1062238.html" target="_hplink">Sausage, Pepper and Mushroom Pizza</a></strong>

  • Sautes

    Sauteed peppers are great on their own as a side dish or can be incorporated with other ingredients to make an entire dish. Cut the peppers into wide strips or chunks for best results. Don't cook them for too long, otherwise the skins will separate and the peppers will get mushy -- you want some toothsomeness. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/sauteed-red-bell-peppers-_n_1057008.html" target="_hplink">Sauteed Red Bell Peppers with Caper Sauce</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/rainbow-pepper-saute_n_1049028.html" target="_hplink">Rainbow Pepper Saute</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/southwestern-steak-amp-_n_1049015.html" target="_hplink">Southwestern Steak and Peppers</a></strong>

  • Stuffed

    Bell peppers were practically made for stuffing since they have such large cavities. Cut the peppers lengthwise or crosswise -- the latter gives you the option of using the cap as a decorative lid when serving. Stuff the peppers with cooked rice or grains, sauteed ground meat or a combination and bake. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/wild-stuffed-peppers_n_1060894.html" target="_hplink">Wild Stuffed Peppers</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/moroccan-style-stuffed-pe_n_1216410.html" target="_hplink">Moroccan Stuffed Peppers</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/spinach-and-sausage-stuff_n_1059532.html" target="_hplink">Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Peppers</a></strong>

  • Soup

    Chunks of bell peppers make a pretty addition to soups, like in the classic tortilla soup, but you can also make a colorful pureed soup with bell peppers. <strong>Recipes: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/paprika--red-pepper-soup_n_1062311.html" target="_hplink">Paprika and Red Pepper Soup with Pistachio Puree</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/red-and-yellow-pepper-sou_n_1057073.html" target="_hplink">Red and Yellow Pepper Soup</a> <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/tortilla-soup_n_1061805.html" target="_hplink">Tortilla Soup</a></strong>

  • WATCH: How To Make Grilled Bell Peppers

    Throw some red, yellow, and green peppers on the grill for a colorful and delicious side dish.


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