Banana peppers are often overlooked in favor of sweet bell peppers. However, they are a versatile pepper that can be enjoyed raw, sautéed, roasted, pickled, or grilled.
Stuffed peppers are a staple in many cuisines. You can remove the stems and stuff them raw, but for a softer texture, consider blanching or baking them for 20 minutes first.
You can slice the banana pepper lengthwise, dividing it in half, or leave the pepper whole, making a slit down one side. Remove the seeds and ribs to make room for the filling.
Raw banana peppers can be diced and added to salads for a wonderful crunch, or they can serve as a tangy topping on pizzas.
Pickling is perhaps the most common way to use these peppers, and it offers the added benefit of preserving the fruit for later enjoyment.
Like other varieties of fresh peppers, banana peppers can be frozen raw to preserve their flavor throughout the winter. Just wash, seed, and then slice or dice the peppers first.