Pick a Peck of Pickled Peppers
October is National Pickled Peppers month, and the farmers’ market is the perfect place to find all kinds of peppers. All sizes, colors and shapes of peppers come in only two flavors – sweet or hot. Sweet peppers include bell peppers, pimientos, Cubanelles and sweet cherry peppers.
There are countless varieties of hot peppers and as a group are known as chili peppers. All pack some degree of heat. Pasilla and Anaheim are relatively mild; jalapeno, cayenne and serrano are considered hot; and habanero and ghost peppers are extremely pungent.
Choose your favorite chilies to make these easy pickled peppers that will store in the refrigerator for a few months. (These could be on your make-ahead list for holiday gift giving).
2 pounds chili peppers (any variety)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into halves
5 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
One quarter cup pickling salt
1- 2 teaspoons celery seed
1-2 teaspoons black peppercorns
Wash four pint size jars (or two quart size jars) and the lids. Wash and trim off stem end of peppers. Slice into one quarter inch rounds or cut in half lengthwise. Divide peppers and garlic evenly between jars, pressing down to fill in spaces.
Stir water, vinegar, salt and spices together in a pot over medium low heat until salt is dissolved. Pour hot brine over peppers in the jars, covering the peppers. Screw on lids and cool to room temperature. Best if left to sit for a few days to meld the flavors.
Refrigerate for up to two months. (These are not canned so must be refrigerated). Enjoy on antipasto platters and sandwiches, chopped in quesadilla, blended with fresh tomato and onion to make salsa, or as a garnish or quick snack.
The Orinda market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Orinda Way in front of Rite Aid and the Community Park. For further information, visit the website at http://www.cccfm.org or call the market hotline at (925) 431-8361.