Pickled Peppers

I have a lot of pepper plants.  I love growing peppers.  I have at least five different varieties this year.  I don’t know for sure, because I seem to always get a stray pepper seed or two in my seed packets that isn’t the same variety as the rest of the seeds in the packet.  This year I have some hot peppers that I can’t identify.  I’m growing two hot varieties; Anaheim, and salsa delight; two Italian sweet peppers, carmen and ‘the godfather’; and ‘red delicious’ bell peppers.  The carmen seeds were left over from last year.  I’ve been getting most of my seeds from Burpees, but I’m thinking about starting to grow some heirloom seeds next year.

Italian sweet peppers really are worth growing.  Their flesh isn’t as thick and juicy as bell peppers, but they have the most amazing flavor, especially when they are allowed to fully ripen.  I use them for all the same things I would use a bell pepper for, including stuffing, even though they are narrower and much longer than a bell pepper.  From what I’ve read, fully ripened red peppers are a really good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, beta carotene, and lycopene.

I’ve made pepper relish, and I put some peppers in my cucumber relish this year.  I froze peppers last year, and I froze some pepper puree and some roasted peppers.  I still have some of those.  I didn’t see much point in freezing any more peppers this year.  I expect to get a lot more peppers this year even though it’s already August.  Last year I was still picking peppers in late November or early December.  I needed to find another way to preserve some of my peppers.

This year, I canned some pickled peppers.  I pickled rings rather than whole peppers so I could mix the sweet and hot peppers together.  The recipe doesn’t call for onions, but I decided to add a few Vidalias to the mix, also.  We usually get two or three 20 pound bags directly from either Vidalia or Lyons, Georgia each year, so this is also a good way to preserve some of the Vidalias.  I’ve already made and frozen Vidalia marmalade, Vidalia jam, and crock pot caramelized Vidalias, so I needed to find another way to put some of those up, too.  One of the things I like about this mix is that is has more sweet than hot peppers, and with the addition of the onions, it’ll be a great mixture to put on home made pizza, and to add to pasta salads and bean and grain salads.  It could also be included in antipasto, and added to other dishes as a garnish.

I got this recipe from the internet also, and I tweaked it.  Here is the original recipe, which I got from here

Pickled Pepper Rings

Prepare 5 pint jars and lids.

  • 3 lbs. mixed sweet and hot peppers
  • 5 c cider vinegar
  • 1  1/4 c water
  • 5 t canning salt
  • 5 T mustard seed

Wash and slice peppers in ¼ inch thick rings. (I deveined my peppers and removed most of the seeds).
In a large non-reactive pot, bring brine to a boil.
Place 1 T mustard seed in bottom of each jar. Pack pepper rings into jars.
Cover with hot brine, allowing ½ inch headspace.
Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

Allow to age gracefully for 3 months.

These are my tweaks:

Pickled Pepper Rings

Prepare 5 pint jars and lids.

  • 2  1/2 lbs. mixed sweet and hot peppers
  • 1/2 lb. sweet onions
  • 5 c cider vinegar
  • 1  1/4 c water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c sugar (to taste)
  • 5 t canning salt

Wash and slice peppers in ¼ inch thick rings. (I deveined my peppers and removed most of the seeds).
In a large non-reactive pot, bring brine to a boil.
Pack pepper rings into jars.
Cover with hot brine, allowing ½ inch headspace.
Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

Allow to age gracefully for 3 months.

I really love this recipe.  It reminds me a bit of the pepper jelly I made last year.  I tweaked that recipe by adding onions to it also, and I think that difference made it a much better pepper jelly than any I’d had before.  I could eat that pepper jelly every single day for breakfast on corn bread and I’d never get tired of it.  Unfortunately, I’m allergic to corn bread and I’m also allergic to the citric acid in the pectin (made from corn), so I still have most of the pepper jelly I made last year.  I only eat a little bit of it on special occasions.

These pickled pepper rings have just a bit of bite, because I used a lot more sweet peppers than hot.  But you can use whatever ratio you prefer.  If you like really hot pickled peppers, you can use more hot than sweet.  Or you could use only sweet or only hot.  If you used only hot, you would probably want to leave out the sugar, and maybe even use the mustard seed.

Note: I don’t  know if this was a flaw in the recipe, or if I maybe didn’t pack my peppers in the jars as tightly as the person who originally created the recipe, but I ended up with 8 pints of these peppers.  I had to make a second batch of brine because there was only enough brine for the 5 pint jars but enough of the pepper mixture for 8.  Next time I make some of these, I’ll see what adjustments need to be made so that there’s no extra of anything.

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