Several years ago, I developed a pickled pepper recipe for a friend. Daryl had given me some seeds from a pepper he had wrapped up in tin foil. He had been to a restaurant for dinner and complimented the chef on the meal, particularly the peppers. Well, the peppers were imported from Italy and the chef had given Daryl an actual dried pepper (hence, the tin foil wrapping).
Knowing that I like to grow things and being excited at the prospect of harvesting bunches of these delicious peppers, he passed the seeds onto me. We had one good season. Disappointingly, the second and third years (generations) never produced enough peppers for pickling; possibly, they were a hybrid. Anyway, I have a few seeds left from the last lonely pepper - one a third generation plant produced - and I am going to try planting one more time. Though a bit disappointing in the pepper production arena, the whole experience did lead to a wonderful recipe for preserving peppers.
I wanted to do Italian style preservation in what I assumed would be just olive oil, but every recipe I found was more towards pickling. I queried all my foodie friends and relatives, searching high and low for recipes on preserving peppers. Finally, I modified one recipe from many.
You can use any kind of pepper in this recipe: sweet, hot, or a combination of both. We certainly continue to enjoy peppers bottled this way and hope you will too.
NOTE: If using any hot peppers, please make sure to wear some kind of glove while cutting or stemming. Do not rub face or eyes - even if you get a sudden, uncontrollable itch!
PICKLED PEPPERS IN OIL
4 pounds Peppers
1/4 Cup Raw Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Oil
2 Cups White Vinegar
2 cloves Garlic
1/2 Tablespoon prepared Horseradish
Wash Peppers. You may stem and pack them whole or slice them into circles, depending on your preference and size of canning jars. Do not worry about removing seeds.
In a stainless steel pot, combine all ingredients. Simmer for 15 minutes. Do not boil.
Using a slotted spoon, pack Peppers into sterilized jars.
Bring remaining pickling juice to a roiling boil. Remove from heat. Using ladle, evenly divide liquid between jars of peppers. You may place garlic cloves into two jars or discard, as desired.
Jars need to be filled leaving only 1/4 inch headspace. If you do not have enough picklingjuice, top off containers with olive oil.
Clean rims. Adjust caps.
Process in a Boiling Hot Water Bath: 10 minutes for half pints or pints, 15 minutes for quarts.
Makes about 8 half pints. Stores on shelf, unopened, for 1 year.
Refrigerate after opening.