Savory Canning: Pickled Peppers
At the beginning of the summer, when we were still picking out plants and herbs for our container garden and dreaming of August’s tomatoes, we thought some pepper plants might be a fun change of pace from the usual choices — who wouldn’t love fresh pico de gallo or sliced fresh banana peppers at the height of summer’s heat? Little did we know, we had purchased super-producing plants, which has given us what seems like hundreds of peppers, and no ideas of what to do with all of them. So, when in doubt, can it!
Here’s a recipe we worked out to can those extra peppers, but it’s a basic template that could work with other vegetables as well (cauliflower works especially well, yum!).
4 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 onion, medium diced
2 medium-sized carrots, medium diced
Mix together the vinegar, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat until the mixture reaches a simmer.
Meanwhile, sauté the onions and carrots in olive oil until tender.
Using pint-sized canning jars, place approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the bottom of a jar, then add the peppers (if you make 3 small incisions on each pepper, the flavors of the brine will infuse more quickly).
Add one bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of oregano to each jar. Seal the jars, and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
The flavor for these peppers will be best after at least two weeks.
Stephanie Fees is a professional chef who lives and works in Lewisburg, West Virginia.
(Image: Stephanie Fees)