Char-Roasted Pickled Peppers
August 12, 2012
I am back. This last month I took an unexpected, but much needed break from many of the details of my life, including keeping My Pantry Shelf full of new pictures and recipes. After many anxious months, I finally had my chance at desperately needed back surgery. The weeks that followed proved that I am not very good at resting (big surprise). Luckily my incredibly generous and talented friends stepped in to make sure that my family and I were eating in style. They dropped off pot pies and meatloafs, quiches and casseroles, salads and a notable tub of pad thai from my friend at Make Room. It felt so indulgent to lie around while others fed me, but I could not be more grateful for the support. The flip side of course was that I was hardly cooking at all and certainly nothing “blog-worthy”. Then we took off for a couple of weeks of true rejuvenation in the best place on earth (no- not Disneyland, how could that be rejuvenating?). Now I am back. Back to my energetic, pain-free, and most importantly happy self. It is good to be me…again.
In anticipation of my surgery, I was a mad jammer. I made a ton of Cherry Rhubarb Jam, Strawberry Freezer Jam, and enough Apricot to last the winter and share with the lovely ladies I mentioned above. What I did not have time to tackle were the savory pantry items. With the school year ramping up to start, despite the supreme relaxation I felt on vacation, there was a constant itch of the half empty pantry. So when my mom asked if she could bring by some zucchini I jumped at the chance to whip up a double batch of Sweet and Spicy Zucchini Pickles. Those pickles are the only way my son will gladly wolf down zucchini (the other is Green and Brown Spaghetti, but he usually is not completely aware that there is zucchini in there, shhhh…).
The newest addition to the pantry are jars of these beautiful Char-Roasted Pickled Peppers. The peppers that are springing up that the markets these days are simply fantastic. Last year I roasted, sliced, and froze a bunch of peppers, which turned out great on pizzas, but this year I wanted something a bit more sophisticated. Something that would taste special right out of the jar. This recipe, from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving is just that. I already enjoyed these beauties on crostini smeared with chevre, but the uses are truly endless. How would you eat these peppers?
Char-Roasted Pickled Peppers
adapted from the Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving
by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard
makes 3-4 half-pints
6-8 sweet bell peppers (about 2 pounds)
1 large clove garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sliced onion
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon pickling salt
To char the peppers and garlic, they must be exposed to flame or high heat. This can be done on a barbecue grill over high heat, directly on the gas flame of a stove-top, or under an oven broiler. I used the broiler to make this batch. As one side of the peppers blacken, turn them until each side is black. Once peppers are blackened all over, place them all in a large bowl with a plate or baking tray on top for 10 minutes or so. Set the garlic clove aside. The peppers will steam a bit, which makes is much easier to remove the skins. This can also be done in a paper bag with the top rolled down.
Remove the peppers from the bowl. Rub off the blackened skin and discard. Cut out the stem and seeds and discard. Cut the peppers into strips 1 inch wide (or whichever width you prefer).
Combine the wine, vinegars, onion, sugar, oregano, and salt in a small non-reactive pan. Squeeze the roasted garlic clove into pan. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
Ladle roasted peppers into hot, sterile jars. Leave a 3/4 inch head-space. Ladle the hot vinegar mixture over the peppers leaving 1/2 inch head space. Top with a new lid and band. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes for half-pint jars. See Home Canning Basics for more information about the canning process.
Print this recipe: Char-Roasted Pickled Peppers
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