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Pickling Peppers—Our Very First Jar

October 10, 2011

Today I bought at half quart of peppers at the Logan Square Farmer’s Market—which by the way is the coolest, biggest and most abundant farmer’s market I’ve ever been to! It’s seriously two blocks long, filled with three different vendors of grass fed meat, dozens of farmers selling produce, at least three baked good vendors and Chicago’s own honey co-op among so many others I didn’t have time to visit them all! It had a festive air. There was a guy playing classic rock songs on a guitar, people with blankets spread out with homemade scarves and purses and second-hand goodness. Bikes were locked to everything bolted down and there were so many people. It is hands down my favorite farmer’s market so far.

Anyway back to the peppers. I should have taken a “before” picture, but I forgot. Suffice it to say they were juicy and as my husband Alberto describes in Spanish—very angry. It was a mix of red and green hot peppers, maybe serrano and baby jalapenos according to Al’s reckoning. Al said that they were very ripe and that it was best to use them right away because they would start to loose potency and go bad soon. He was about to whip some salsa, but I could tell that he was tired so I suggested pickling them. We had read about pickling in The Urban Homestead so we were eager to give it a try. I found a recipe on Canning called “Easy Pickled Peppers” that sounded doable.

We followed the recipe with a few adjustments.

Here it is:

Easy Pickled Peppers

  • 1/2 quart fresh hot peppers (any kind you like)
  • ~1 cup of frozen carrot and cauliflower slices (borrowed from a California blend of mixed veggies)
  • ~1 tsp. Of garlic powder (Don’t do this! We learned later that powdered seasonings will cloud up the liquid, instead go with 1 or 2 heads garlic – peel and separate cloves )
  • 1 tsp. salt (Make sure to use cooking salt, salt with a high iodine content will cause the veg to discolor, we will use our kosher sea salt in the future!)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. of black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
  • White vinegar to cover

Put the carrots on to boil in the vinegar. Stab each pepper with a paring knife. After the carrots have cooked for about 10 minutes, add everything else to the pot. Simmer 5 (crisp) to 15 (soft) minutes depending on your taste. Pour mixture into old mayonnaise jars or what ever else large glass jars you have on hand that have a cover. Cover (not too tight) and let cool for an hour or so. Then refrigerate. You can eat these right away but if you way for a few days the vegetables (carrots and garlic) will get hotter.

Al says that the peppers are vicious and soon the other veg will match. He bets that they will be real yummy. We are pretty happy with our results and will probably will be pickling many peppers in the future!

I’ll let you know how they taste soon!

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