Go Wild With Chiles!

Toward the end of August in San Francisco, our Saturday morning Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market is ablaze with glisteningly and spicy red, green and yellow chiles. Their vibrant colors and slightly spicy fragrance tantalize my tastebuds and imagination.

These three recipes, using chiles in different ways, combine to make a superbly piquant Sunday Supper. It will take some time to prepare this Sunday Supper, but it will be worth the effort if you've been longing for a chile indulgence. You can make these dishes as spicy or mild as you like, depending on the type of chiles you choose. Since the hotness of chiles can vary quite a bit from variety to variety, these recipes don't specify the type to use nor do they give exact quantities of other ingredients. Use them as guidelines to adapt to the types of chiles available in your area.

Grilled Pork Loin with Pimento-Chipotle Sauce


Lemon basil and purple basil
Soy sauce
Rice wine vinegar
2-3 large cloves garlic
Olive oil

"Marinating" the pork:

For the Sauce:

Black-eyed Pea Salad with Chiles:

Fresh black-eyed peas
Green onions
Small, fresh red chile
Strong vinaigrette

Sautéed Chile Ribbons:

  • Select a variety of thin-fleshed red, green and yellow chiles, with varying degrees of hotness to suit your taste.
  • Cut off the stem-end, remove seeds and cut out much of the fleshy inner membrane.
  • Cut the chiles into thin ribbons of roughly equal length and width.
  • Sauté (or stir fry) in olive oil.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
To serve:

Arrange all the ingredients on a plate or in bouillabaisse bowls, as shown.

A full-bodied cabernet sauvignon complements the spiciness of this Sunday Supper.