Preserve plenty peppers to produce a plethora of piquant pickles.
The late-summer peppers are excellent right now, firm-fleshed and plump, with smooth skins and that robust flavor that marries so well with vinegar. Why not pickle some of them? Lemon season is just starting too, so try our recipe for preserved lemons while you’re in the pickling mood.
Making pickles is easy. It’s a matter of brine and spices added to the main vegetable, or vegetable mix. Make them as plain or as elaborate as you like, but that’s all it really amounts to. Since olive season will be starting soon, keep our method for making home-made olives in mind too. But let’s return to peppers. Like large, sweet bell peppers? Or do you prefer something fiery to serve as a true Middle-Eastern relish, as pictured above ? Any kind of pepper works in this recipe.
Pickled Middle-Eastern Peppers
6-7 large bell peppers of different colors
or 8-9 slender hot peppers
2 cups water
2 cups apple cider or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thickly
If pickling hot peppers, wear thin gloves to protect your skin. Do not touch your face at any time while processing the peppers. Gloves aren’t necessary to work with bell peppers.
1. Rinse and dry the peppers. For bell peppers, remove the stem ends and slice into quarters or eighths. Remove their seeds and white inner membrane. Leave hot peppers whole.
2. Pack the peppers into a jar that contains 1-1/2 liters (6 cups, 1 -1/2 quart). Stand the jar on a dry towel.
3. Boil the water, vinegar, salt and sugar for 5 minutes, covered.
4. Pour the hot vinegar brine over the peppers, using a funnel. Drop the garlic in.
Suggestion: taste the brine before pouring it over the peppers. Add more salt or sugar to taste.
5. Cover and allow to cool. Store in the refrigerator for 1 month before eating.
More carefully-concocted Middle-Eastern classics and condiments on Green Prophet:
Photo of pickled peppers and olives by Miriam Kresh.