Pickled Cherry Peppers and Red Bell Pepper Sauce

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I picked these beautiful cherry peppers and set them up in a pickle using a recipe I found in Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Vegetables. Garlic and sweet bay from our garden combine with black peppercorns, fresh cilantro, and two kinds of vinegar to give them their flavor. I made only one small jarful as a tester and also because we don't yet have the pressure-canning equipment that is recommended for canning larger quantities of peppers safely. These cured for one week in the refrigerator where they'll keep for up to two months.

The verdict on taste? Hot, sweet, and sour all at once. The peppers are almost too spicy-hot for my liking, but just sweet and vinegary enough to keep me wanting to try more. Michael loves them. A hot pepper relish that accompanies the cold-cut subs at our favorite deli was my inspiration for this first foray into pepper pickling. We plan to use these peppers in a similar manner to fire up a few ordinary sandwiches.

Also on the subject of peppers, I am so happy to have bell peppers that are finally growing large and thick-walled enough to pass for the store-bought kind. I don't know if I can put my finger on an exact secret to this success; I've just been giving the plants periodic feedings of compost, regular watering, and full sun. I have so many peppers that are turning ripe now. I plan to freeze some, chopped and ready to use for cooking during the winter months. My mouth waters at the prospect of warming up to a bowlful of sweet bell pepper soup, made with our own peppers, in about February or so.

This weekend I used two of my fresh bells to make a red pepper butter sauce from the Moosewood Restaurant's Simple Suppers cookbook.

I started by sauteing the peppers in garlic and olive oil and then blended the mixture in a food processor with lemon, butter, and salt. Fan-tas-tic. This was a nice change from the usual tomato sauce, and it really was so simple to make. Unlike the cherry peppers that I pickled, these peppers were entirely sweet. I could drench my pasta in this sauce and still go happily for seconds without fear of taste-bud injury. Beautiful on the plate, it was food for the eyes, too.

Red pepper butter sauce on angel hair pasta with fresh basil


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both the pickled peppers (bet you you fun saying that ten times fast :-P) and the pasta look delish!

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are these the bell peppers you grew from those seeds that everyone said wouldn't grow because they were from store peppers? Or has reading your archive knocked me off a few years?

7:44 PM  
Blogger Christa said...


These are bell peppers that I grew from heirloom seeds I purchased. The seeds I saved from store-bought peppers never produced anything for me when I tried to grow them. I don't know if that was a fault of the seeds, though, or something else.

8:10 PM  
Blogger Kateri said...

Those peppers are so beautiful. They look like jewels!

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made pickled peppers recently too but they aren't nearly as pretty as yours. Those cherry pappers are gorgeous. I will definitely try the bell peppers sauce. It sounds yummy!

3:17 PM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

Good job on the bell peppers. Mine are still rather pitiful here.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Rosemary said...

great article on peppers.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Jane O' said...

It sure looks good on angel hair pasta. I'm a big pasta fan, especially with basil. Yum.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've got some nice varieties there. I've been messing around with vinegar and chilli peppers as the p-man have finished.
I picked you for the Tree of Happiness award. Details are on the link.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Bea said...

Very nice... the second photo looks like dentures in a glass at first glance!

7:01 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh that looks good! Now I'm going to have to make some too.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Robin Ripley said...

Oh, good ideas for those peppers. i have a bunch that are beautiful and ready. I'll have to check out the Moosewood recipe. Everything I've ever tried from those cookbooks is fab!

Ntl Gardening Examiner
(and chicken lover)

8:33 AM  
Blogger Matron said...

Mine are just about ready now as well. Sweet peppers are just so juicy and crisp.. unlike the ones from the store.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Matron said...

That looks wonderful! Might try to make some. Thanks.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Now I'm hungry

6:57 AM  
Blogger kate smudges said...

The Pickled Peppers Pepper Sauce sounds delicious. I'm glad to see that you've had great success with your peppers this past summer.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Muum said...

Hello? Haven't heard from you in a whileon your blog.. are you knee deep in cooking/gardening / etc? hope all is well..

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm wild about pepper, hot and sweet. I always knew you could garden but that hubby is a lucky man with all the fresh veggies AND gourmet meals. Beautiful!

9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like whatever you're doing is working. I would say it is probably all three things you mentioned. Full sun has got to be an issue where you live. Here, ours get sun scalded sometimes. Your sauce and pickled peppers look fab.~~Dee

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum- I'm a huge fan of chilies. I always wondered if you've every heard of anyone in the US growing peppadews? They remind me of the smaller peppers from your post.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Ashley Morris said...

Woow, I actually love your pictures, they are so colorful and catchy, I am logo designer and I work with professional logo creations, these kind of pictures are very nice to work on.

2:03 PM  

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