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Vintage California Cuisine: 300 Recipes from the First Cookbooks Published in the Golden State


Too Many Chiles! From Sowing to Savoring: More Than 75 Recipes for Preparing and Preserving Your Pepper Harvest

By David DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach

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Edible Pepper Garden
By Rosalind Creasy

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Preserving Peppers From Freezing to Pickling

Freezing Peppers
No-Cook Refrigerated Pickled Peppers
Roasted Pickled Sweet Peppers
Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
Pickled Peppers with Mixed Vegetables

The best peppers for pickling are thick-fleshed varieties, such as the bell, Hungarian, Cubanelle, sweet cherry, wax and jalapeno pepper. Small peppers may be pickled whole, though you should pierce them with a knife in a couple of places so that the pickling solution can fill the inside of the pepper. In recipes that call for salt, use granulated, non-iodized canning or pickling salt. You may use either cider or white vinegar, as long as it has 5 percent acidity, but cider vinegar may discolor your peppers.

If you want to put away some of the bounteous, late-summer harvest of peppers for future use but don't want to bother with pickling, freezing is the simplest option. You can roast the peppers first by broiling them, turning frequently, until the skin chars, and then freeze them on a cookie sheet before placing them in a zip-lock bag for storage. Easier yet, you can freeze peppers without even bothering to blanch them by following these simple steps.

Freezing Peppers

1. Wash and core peppers. Chop, dice or slice according to how you plan to use them. 

2. Spread in a single layer on a tray of a cookie sheet. Place tray in the freezer for an hour or longer.

3. Loosen pepper pieces from the tray and pour into zip closure freezer bags. Immediately place sealed bags in the freezer. The pepper pieces will remain separated for ease of measuring. Simply remove as many as you need, reseal the bag and return to the freezer. 

Here's the simplest way to pickle peppers for use within a month or two. If you store them in the refrigerator, you can forego the the trouble of processing them in a boiling water bath.

No-Cook Refrigerated
Pickled Peppers

2 lb. peppers (use red and green together for a dramatic presentation)
1 small dried chili pepper pod for each jar (optional)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 1/2 cup water
2 1/4 cup vinegar
6-7 tablespoon pickling or Kosher salt

1. Slice, core and seed peppers. Pack into jars. 

2. Add pepper pods and garlic. 

3. Dissolve salt in water. Add vinegar and fill jars. 

Note: Ready in about 7-10 days. 

This recipe is from the Food Network.

Roasted Pickled Sweet Peppers 

3 to 4 red peppers, quartered and seeded 
1 cup white distilled vinegar 
3/4 cup sugar 
3/4 cup water 
1/2 teaspoon pickling spices 

1. Preheat a broiler. Broil the peppers for 7 to 9 minutes, until the skin has blistered and peppers are cooked. 

2. Place in a paper or plastic bag and seal immediately. Let stand for 15 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Peel peppers, discard skins. 

3. In a medium, non-reactive saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, water, and pickling spices to a boil.

4. Place the peeled peppers in a sterilized, canning jar. Pour hot mixture over peppers, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

This recipe is from the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension.

Pickled Jalapeno Peppers
(1 quart jar)

Jalapeno peppers (about 2 pounds)
1 cup vinegar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed pickling spices
2 carrot slices, 2 celery sticks and a garlic clove (optional)

1. Wash peppers and pack into a hot jar. Add carrot slices, celery sticks and a clove of garlic if desired. Pack tightly, leaving 2-inch headspace. 

2. Combine vinegar, water salt and pickling spices. Heat to boiling. Pour boiling hot liquid over peppers to two inches from top of jar top. Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife or rubber spatula down the side of the jar, rotating, releasing trapped air between the peppers. Wipe jar rims clean. Adjust prepared two piece canning lid. 

3. Process jar in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Using jar lifters, remove to a draft free area, and allow to cool. Check the seal. Label the container.

This recipe is from the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension.

Pickled Peppers with Mixed Vegetables
(7 to 8 pints)

2 1/2 pounds peppers, mild or hot as desired
1 pound cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch chunks 
2 to 4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks 
1/2 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch flowerettes 
1 cup peeled pickling onions 
7 to 14 garlic cloves, as desired 
6 cups vinegar 
3 cups water 
2 tablespoons pickling salt 
2 tablespoons sugar, if desired 

1. Wash and prepare vegetables. Slit small peppers. Core large peppers and cut into strips. Remove blossom end of cucumbers and cut into chunks. Peel and chunk carrots. Break cauliflower into flowerettes. Pack vegetable medley into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. 

2. In 3-quart saucepan, bring vinegar, water, salt and sugar to a boil. 

3. Pour hot solution over mix in jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Add liquid to bring headspace to 1/4 inch. Wipe jar rims. Add pretreated lids and process in boiling water bath. 

Note: For best flavor, store jars five to six weeks before opening.

Copyright 2005 Seasonal Chef