Jimmy nardello pepper scoville

Scoville RatingJimmy Nardello Pepper : 0 SHU

It is a rare find for a plant to receive an official name in honor of someone, but the Jimmy Nardello pepper is just that; an homage to a family that has cultivated and had a love for pepper for many generations. Officially named the Jimmy Nardello Italian Pepper, this is a sweet pepper that can be eaten raw or dried and fried to transform that sweet taste in to one that has a bit of a slight bite to it which is along the lines of a black peppercorns.

Origins

Jimmy Nardello, the man, was the fourth of eleven children of Italian immigrants Giuseppe and Angella Nardello. The couple immigrated to the United States from Southern Italy and brought their love of peppers with them and some seeds which they used in their home garden in their new hometown of Naugatuck, Connecticut.

Appearance

The Jimmy Nardello is a hearty pepper that grows rather quickly and produces bright red and long, skinny peppers that are ideal for frying as they can be fried whole or sliced lengthwise to expose the seeds. Right off of the vine, at maturity, the Jimmy Nardello pepper is a deep and rich red and when bitten into has a sweet and almost fruity flavor. However, those who prefer this pepper enjoy the versatility. The six to nine inch long thin peppers are a perfect pairing for cooking or adding to salads raw; making it a highly versatile pepper.

Uses

It is an ideal pepper for both Italian cuisine and also Mexican and South American as it can be dried and fried to make for an ideal substitution for commercial red pepper flakes as it retains some sweetness but has a slight bite that pairs well with most dishes.

An intriguing point about the Jimmy Nardello is that before his death in 1983, he donated his seeds to the Seed Savers Exchange so that the seeds could be preserved and maintained after his passing. The pepper is commonly called the Jimmy Nardello but the official name through the Seed Savers Exchange is the Jimmy Nardello Sweet Italian Frying Pepper.

How accurate is this article? We are striving to become the ultimate resource for information on peppers, and if you notice any inaccuracies, or want to contribute content, please contact us.

Photo credit: GreenHouse17 / Foter / CC BY

Kitchen Garden Seeds

Gardening Tips

Pepper Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth:1/4”
Row Spacing:18”-24”
Plant Spacing:18”
Days to Germination: 8-18 days
Germination Temperature:70°-85°F
Start Peppers 6 to 8 weeks before the last spring frost date in your area. Sow 3 to 5 seeds per individual pot of starter mix or singly in peat pots. Provide light, even moisture and ventilation. Bottom warmth hastens germination. Seedlings prefer 70° to 85°F during the day with slightly cooler temperatures at night. Individually transplant the strongest seedlings to 4″ pots and fertilize weekly. Do not allow seedlings to become root-bound. Amend a well-draining, sunny site with organic fertilizer, compost and/or well-rotted manure. When night temperatures are reliably above 55°F, expose the Pepper plants to sun gradually over 1 week, then transplant. Water well and fertilize as needed with manure tea, kelp or fish emulsion. Mulch soil around Peppers if soil dries out too quickly. Harvest carefully, using a sharp blade, leaving 1⁄2″ of stem, when Peppers reach desired size and color.

Turn Up the Heat
From start to finish, Peppers are a crop that like it hot. Unless your climate is truly steamy, you must start them ahead in a warm spot, on a heat mat if possible, or on top of the refrigerator or kitchen cabinet. Only after warm weather has settled in should you set them out–in the sunniest part of the garden.
Delayed Gratification
For a greater overall Pepper yield, remove any blossoms that appear on your young transplants up until the time you set them in the ground. You’ll miss out on the earliest fruits, but by letting the plant put its energy into its growth rather than early fruits, you’ll get more productive plants later on.
The Look for Late Summer
Most of us grow Peppers because they taste so great, but I find them equally useful as an ornamental. If I want to add some edibles to a dooryard plot, I might not pick a sprawling cuke or Tomato vine, but I’d pick a few Pepper plants, with their healthy green foliage, tidy upright habit and colorful fruits. There they are, quietly green but growing steadily, until all of a sudden the plants are as showy as rosebushes. Though red ones are always my favorites, the yellow ones are gorgeous too. And they appear at a time in the season when many flowering plants have passed their prime–especially herbs whose flowering time is usually spring and early summer. Try some in pots on the terrace, too.
Deer Resistant Seed Varieties

Peppers are spicing up fall

Plump, juicy heirloom tomatoes are the starlets of the fall harvest, hogging all the attention with their sun-kissed sweetness and yielding flesh.

But what allure does sweetness hold when there is no bitterness or spice to offset it? That’s where the fresh pepper comes in, with its sturdy crunch and burning capsaicin, exuding heat in measurable Scoville units.

“Tomatoes and peppers go together like peas and carrots,” said cooking instructor Mary Bergin. “Peppers are considered sweet, but they have that bitter quality, and so do onions. So they balance the tomatoes.”

It’s hard to imagine a serious kitchen without peppers, fresh and dried. They form the backbone of New Orleans cuisine, perk up the Peruvian ceviche and add punch to Italy’s pizzas and antipasti.

Christopher Columbus first brought a fiery New World pepper back to Spain in 1493. From there, the heat-loving plant spread across the world, quickly transforming cooking from Italy and India to Africa and Asia.

At the same time, members of the Capsicum annus species native to Central and South America crept up into North America, where they are avidly dried and smoked, roasted and pickled, in Mexico and New Mexico.

Here in Wine Country, New World peppers have come full circle, with farmers planting varieties that hark back to the Old World with names like Jimmy Nardello and Friggitello, Marconi and Corno de torres.

Ariel Russell of Redwood Empire Farm in Santa Rosa is particularly fond of the Jimmy Nardellos, a long, skinny, wrinkly sweet pepper that hails from the south of Italy.

“The super sweet flavor of Jimmy Nardellos when they are raw make them great for salads or as part of a crudites platter,” she said. “But their sweet flavor and thin walls make them absolutely divine grilled or fried.”

Unlike tomatoes, which may ripen in the summer, peppers require a long hang time on the vine, and their appearance always signals the onset of autumn.

“No one really ever has peppers until September,” said chef-owner Jeff Mall of Zin restaurant in Healdsburg. “They are truly a fall crop.”

If you have picked a peck of peppers, and you don’t want to pickle them, here are 20 ways to cook and eat them:

From Ariel Russell of Redwood Empire Farm:

1) Grilled: Put whole Jimmy Nardellos in a bowl and blend with olive oil and salt, then cook on a hot grill for 10 to 15 minutes until blistered and soft. Devour immediately, or serve on pizza or steak.

2) Fried: Split the Jimmy Nardellos in half, deseed them, and fry them with garlic in olive oil.

3) Roasted: Roast some salted, oiled Nardellos under a broiler, flipping once, for about 10 minutes.

4) Stuffed: Split the Nardellos in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and stuff each half with fresh goat cheese and seasonal herbs. Then put them under the broiler for about 10 minutes.

5) Sauced: Roast the Nardellos with tomatoes, red onion, garlic and basil, for a pasta sauce.

From Barndiva executive chef Ryan Fancher, who sources peppers from Mix Garden and Earlybird’s Place in Healdsburg:

6) Eat peppers raw. “I like the fact that peppers have more vitamin C than an orange,” he said.

7) Piperade originated in France’s Basque region and is made from tomatoes and sweet peppers cooked in olive oil. Fancher adds in prosciutto and basil. “It’s like a sweet pepper marmalade,” he said. Serve it on meat.

We’re back with more chilaquiles, because… um… they’re the best things E.V.E.R. They’re like if nachos and enchiladas had a baby — PERFECTION. I’m in a bit of an obsession (and it’s a darn good things I have plenty of green enchilada sauce on hand!), and am putting pretty much everything I can think of (or find in my fridge) into chilaquiles. This time: chorizo, corn, zucchini, tomatoes, cheese (duh), and Jimmy Nardello peppers!

You guys know this is my mojo — take whatever I have on hand and throw it into a roasted veggie bowl or soup. I can imagine so many other great additions to chilaquiles! Brisket chilaquiles! Bacon chilaquiles! BEET chilaquiles! Clearly we’re on a roll with the “b” foods today.

Lest you think I’m a crazy chilaquiles lady (is that like the crazy cat lady of the food world? Yikes.), lemme prove that I’m not the only one on this train. I mentioned, last time I made chilaquiles, that Alanna was my original inspiration, and upon further internet scouring I’ve found all the big guns (The Kitchn, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit) all have killer chilaquiles recipes, too! IT’S AN EPIDEMIC OF THE BEST KIND! We should also all drool over these chorizo nachos… Yeah, I dig it!

Let’s talk about the Jimmy Nardellos. These suckers aren’t spicy — they’re sweet, flavorful, beautiful, and apparently super trendy… and straight from my Mom’s garden! Who knew my Mom was so trendy? I’ve seen these on the menu all around Portland this summer, so was psyched to use them in something myself! If you can’t find any, try another sweet pepper! Or use a spicy one! Do whatever you want! I’m trying to empower your chilaquiles-making-self. GO GET ‘EM!

Have a wonderful Friday, and a wonderful weekend! I’ll see you back here on MONDAY! xoxo

Scale 1x2x3x

Ingredients

  • 10 6″ corn tortillas, cut into small wedges
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • 8 oz. ground chorizo
  • 1 cup green enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup diced white onion (divided)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced extremely thin
  • 2/3 cup corn kernels
  • 2–3 large Jimmy Nardello peppers (chopped to 1/2″ pieces)
  • 1 cup shredded colby jack (or other melty cheese)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • cotija or queso fresco, for serving
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • lime wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the tortilla wedges with the olive oil, coating them as evenly as you can. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. They should be pretty crispy! Remove and let cool.
  2. While the chips are baking, cook the chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat, using a spatula to break it into small chunks. Cook until completely browned, then remove from heat.
  3. When the chips have cooled substantially, pour the green enchilada sauce over them. Use your hands to get each piece well coated.
  4. Mix in 2/3 of the white onion, the sliced zucchini, corn, chorizo, and Jimmy Nardello peppers. Arrange them in a baking dish or cast-iron skillet so some chips are sticking up (so when I add the cheese it’ll sink down in there!).
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are getting nice and crispy, then remove and sprinkle the colby jack on top. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese has fully melted (4-5- minutes).
  6. Remove and serve topped with the cherry tomatoes, extra onion, crumbled cotija, cilantro, and lime.

7

Jimmy Nardello

by Megan French of Bend, OR

Before he was a farmer, before he knew he wanted to be a farmer, David came upon it by chance one day on a friend’s farm.

“It was one of the very first things I ever harvested on a farm. At that point, I thought it was the coolest thing. It was totally different than anything I had ever seen at the grocery store.”

Since 2012, from having a small CSA garden in his backyard to managing farms to now owning and farming Boundless Farmstead, David Kellner-Rode has been growing the Jimmy Nardello pepper. “I can’t see not ever growing it.”

This pepper came to me through David and is easily one of our favorite varieties on the farm. Before I was a local food eater and farmer, many vegetables were unappealing; celery was bitter, cucumbers were spongy, and peppers were leathery and tart. My dislike of peppers quickly changed into an obsession after growing Jimmy Nardellos.

Ask any farmer about their favorite vegetable and one is likely to receive four or five types and even more varieties. Ask David his favorite vegetables and he will quickly respond, “pepper” and soon after correct with, “Jimmy Nardellos.”

The Jimmy Nardello pepper demands attention from all of the senses. It hangs long and lean from each stem, mottled in scarlet, auburn, burgundy, and burnt sienna. It twists and curls, grabbing on as one brushes by, forcing a head turn and a moment of recognition.

After a glance, a pluck, a twirl through curious fingers, and a check for quality, the pepper is bitten. A soft crunch, a burst of sweetness, and a crisp rich fruity flavor lingers.

At the farm, we eat this pepper raw all day, munching away as we weed or stake or wash produce. But in the evening, it goes into the frying pan, onto the grill, or under the broiler; the sweetness amplified and complemented by savory oils, residual smoke, and flaky sea salt.

The most enjoyable preparation of Jimmys I have ever been fortunate enough to taste was also the simplest. Sliced peppers are thrown into a cast iron skillet with olive oil, sea salt, thyme, and crushed garlic. Once soft, a dollop of goat cheese is spooned in the middle, and the pan rests under the broiler for a few minutes. The whole pan is set on the table and scooped up by crusty baguette slices.

This pepper is not only wonderful to eat, but it is equally wonderful to grow. This italian frying pepper grows six to ten inches long on a plant that is about two feet tall. Jimmys are also prolific and quick maturing, which is crucial in our short High Desert growing season.

We grow peppers exclusively in a greenhouse due to our radical swings in diurnal temperature and our chance at a frost any day of the year. They performed well under extreme summer heat and pressed on during some cold fall nights. In 2018, we experienced a frost on July 3rd and August 25th. We kept the peppers in the greenhouse, blanketed in row cover, and enjoyed these beauties from mid July until early November.

Jimmy Nardello holds a place within the Slow Food’s Ark of Taste catalog as an endangered heritage food. “The Ark of Taste is a living catalog of delicious and distinctive foods facing extinction… is a tool for farmers, ranchers, fishers, chefs, grocers, educators, and consumers to seek out and celebrate our country’s diverse, biological, cultural, and culinary heritage” (Slow Food USA).

Boundless Farmstead is a 20 acre farm with five acres of diverse vegetables and 12 acres of pasture in the High Desert region of Central Oregon. Our mission is to grow and cultivate healthy plants, animals, and community, and to form creative and sustainable practices by observing, listening, and studying. We are dedicated stewards of the land who love to work hard, assimilate back into the natural cycles and rhythms of the natural world, and eat well. By cultivating and eating Jimmy Nardellos, we hope to continue its viability, heritage, and legacy for decades.

Our (SFJ) Discovery of this Pepper?

Shannon came upon them at the Bend Farmer’s Market this past summer and after buying a handful, bought them by the dozen the rest of the summer. They’re so sweetly wonderful, she brought one in for me to try and I promptly asked her to look up where I could buy seed. LRM

The U.S. is known as the melting pot. For centuries immigrants from all over the world have come and made the United States their home. With them they’ve brought their religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and favorite recipes and food. The story of the Jimmy Nardello pepper began with Italian immigrants, Giuseppe and Angella Nardello, sticking a few favorite pepper seeds in their pocket before coming to the United States.

History of Jimmy Nardello Italian Peppers

In 1887, the Nardello family immigrated to Connecticut seeking a better life than they had in their remote, mountainous village in southern Italy. Along with them, they brought the seeds of some of their favorite vegetables including Capiscum annum, the variety of sweet pepper that is now known as the Jimmy Nardello Italian pepper.

Life in Connecticut was good for the Nardello family and soon they had 11 children. Naturally, raising 11 children doesn’t leave time for much else. Fortunately, the Nardello’s fourth child, Jimmy, had inherited his mother’s love of gardening, so he built terrace gardens and grew many of his mother’s favorite heirloom pepper plants.

From just the few seeds his mother had brought over from Italy, Jimmy kept the family well fed with wholesome, hearty vegetables for decades. Jimmy’s favorite of all the peppers he grew was a sweet Italian frying pepper. Before he passed away in 1983, Jimmy donated seeds of his favorite pepper to the Seed Savers Exchange. Since then, it has been known as the Jimmy Nardello pepper.

Growing and Using Heirloom Pepper Plants

Nearly 130 years after Jimmy’s mother brought her heirloom pepper plant seeds to the U.S., Jimmy Nardello Italian peppers have become all the rage with chefs and gardeners. Traditionally, these peppers were strung from a string and dried. The string was run through the stem of the pepper, with a needle. Dried peppers were then sliced or chopped and sautéed or fried for use in traditional Italian recipes. Today, Jimmy Nardello peppers are dried, frozen, pickled, canned or used fresh in any recipe that calls for a sweet, crisp pepper.

Jimmy Nardello pepper plants require 80-90 days to mature. In northern climates with shorter summers, you may need to start the seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date.

Plants need full sun and grow approximately 2 feet tall and wide. The fruit is 6-10 inches long and bright red at maturity. Jimmy Nardello peppers contain vitamin A, vitamin C and are low in calories.

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History Of Jimmy Nardello Italian Peppers

The U.S. is known as the melting pot. For centuries immigrants from all over the world have come and made the United States their home. With them they’ve brought their religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and favorite recipes and food. The story of the Jimmy Nardello pepper began with Italian immigrants, Giuseppe and Angella Nardello, sticking a few favorite pepper seeds in their pocket before coming to the United States.

History of Jimmy Nardello Italian Peppers

In 1887, the Nardello family immigrated to Connecticut seeking a better life than they had in their remote, mountainous village in southern Italy. Along with them, they brought the seeds of some of their favorite vegetables including Capiscum annum, the variety of sweet pepper that is now known as the Jimmy Nardello Italian pepper.

Life in Connecticut was good for the Nardello family and soon they had 11 children. Naturally, raising 11 children doesn’t leave time for much else. Fortunately, the Nardello’s fourth child, Jimmy, had inherited his mother’s love of gardening, so he built terrace gardens and grew many of his mother’s favorite heirloom pepper plants.

From just the few seeds his mother had brought over from Italy, Jimmy kept the family well fed with wholesome, hearty vegetables for decades. Jimmy’s favorite of all the peppers he grew was a sweet Italian frying pepper. Before he passed away in 1983, Jimmy donated seeds of his favorite pepper to the Seed Savers Exchange. Since then, it has been known as the Jimmy Nardello pepper.

Growing and Using Heirloom Pepper Plants

Nearly 130 years after Jimmy’s mother brought her heirloom pepper plant seeds to the U.S., Jimmy Nardello Italian peppers have become all the rage with chefs and gardeners. Traditionally, these peppers were strung from a string and dried. The string was run through the stem of the pepper, with a needle. Dried peppers were then sliced or chopped and sautéed or fried for use in traditional Italian recipes. Today, Jimmy Nardello peppers are dried, frozen, pickled, canned or used fresh in any recipe that calls for a sweet, crisp pepper.

Jimmy Nardello pepper plants require 80-90 days to mature. In northern climates with shorter summers, you may need to start the seeds indoors 8-10 weeks before the last frost date.

Plants need full sun and grow approximately 2 feet tall and wide. The fruit is 6-10 inches long and bright red at maturity. Jimmy Nardello peppers contain vitamin A, vitamin C and are low in calories.

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