Preserved Roasted Peppers

Preserved Roasted PeppersPick A Peck
Whenever I plant a veggie garden I always include peppers. Bell Peppers are a must-have as are any spicy peppers like jalapeños or Fresnos. Planting peppers presents a problem as they can be as prolific as zucchini under the right conditions. I am a big fan of Thai chilis but anyone who has ever grown them in their garden knows that one plant can produce hundreds of chilis. I mean, I like spicy but that’s a bit too much. So what to do with all those peppers?

Trading with friends, neighbors, and co-workers is always an option—even better if you trade for something they grew that you didn’t. But, sometimes there are still too many. So, I end up preserving them.

You have two options when it comes to preserving peppers. You can make pickled ones quickly in the fridge like these or you can roast and can them for use at a later date. Both have their merits, though if you want more versatility as to what you can do with the peppers, roasting is the way to go.

I love preserved roasted peppers. You can use them in sandwiches or in salads. You can chop them up with some tomato for a tasty bruschetta or add them to your favorite pasta dish.

Below is one of my favorite ways to preserve peppers. It comes to us courtesy of Hank Shaw of Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook and it is one of my favorite resources for pickle recipes as well as other off the beaten path ideas. I like to add a clove of garlic to each jar to add just a little bit more flavor. Definitely check his website out if you are so inclined. In the meantime, if your pepper plant cup runneth over, try this recipe to get things under control…

Preserved Roasted Peppers
Adapted from Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook

Our method of preserving peppers is to roast them over an open fire, then preserve them with a little salt, oil, and vinegar. Roasted peppers are delicious. They make great appetizers and go well in sauces, stews, sandwiches, and simply draped over roasted or grilled meat.

This recipe can be used with any variety of pepper, sweet or spicy.

8 peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup good-quality vinegar of your choice
garlic cloves, peeled
Kosher or sea salt

Canning jars (about 2-pint jars depending upon the size of the peppers)
A chopstick or butter knife

Roast the peppers
Blacken your peppers, preferably on a charcoal grill or open flame. If this is not available you can use a stovetop burner or even the broiler. The trick is to get them nice and black to impart that toasted flavor.

Steam the pepper skins
When the peppers are good and black, place them in a brown paper bag and roll it to seal in the steam. Allow them to cool for 20 to 40 minutes.

Peel the peppers
After the peppers are cool to the touch, remove the skins, stems, and seeds. (Do not run the peppers under water, as this robs them of flavor.) Once each pepper is cleaned place it in a bowl. Do all the peppers before going on to the next step.

Coat the peppers with vinegar
Pour the vinegar into a shallow bowl or small casserole. Dredge each pepper through the vinegar a few times to coat well. Place the dredged pepper in a second bowl, and repeat until you have done this for all the peppers.

Salt the peppers
Sprinkle the bowl of peppers with salt. Gently toss the peppers together like a salad. Sprinkle a little more salt and repeat. Sprinkle a little salt into the first bowl with the pepper juice.

Can the peppers
Pour a splash of vinegar into each canning jar—enough to cover the bottom of the jar. Pack in the peppers, leaving 1 to 2 inches of space at the top. Slide one good-sized, peeled garlic clove (2 if they are small) into each jar.

Combine all the liquid (vinegar and pepper juice) in one bowl. Pour the juice into the jars so that it reaches the tops of the peppers.

Use a butter knife or chopstick to run down the sides of the jars to release air bubbles. You will notice the level of liquid drop. Pour in more vinegar-pepper juice still leaving room at the top of the jar.

Once the air is out (to the best of your ability) and the vinegar-pepper juice it right above the top of the level of the peppers, gently top the jars with about 1/4-inch of olive oil. Screw the lids on the jars and you’re done! These peppers will last a year in the refrigerator, although they will soften over time.


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