Happy National Pickle Day! Make Jill's quick pickled peppers or try Chef Linton Hopkins' bread and butter pickles recipe.
The days of fresh produce from local farms are numbered now that fall is fully upon us and winter will soon be whispering at the door. During a recent trip to my local greenmarket, I spied a gorgeous batch of Hungarian - or banana - peppers, and I bought a bunch with the express idea of pickling them for Bloody Marys.
I’m in love with the idea of pickling and canning, the romance of it. I imagine my early pioneer sisters, putting up provisions to sustain the family through the harsh North East winters. It makes me want to install a wood stove in the middle of my Brooklyn apartment, build a floor to ceiling shelving unit of some dark, rough-hewn wood and fill it with canned vittles. But whoops - here I am again in reality and that is not going to happen.
While I was growing up, my mother canned and it was quite an affair. My sister and I were banished from the kitchen for most of the day, and of course, it made us want to be there so badly that we couldn’t resist sneaking in and peeking. There was my mother moving amongst vats of sliced cucumbers and huge steaming pots of boiling water on the stove. Sacks of sugar, pickling spices, vinegar and canning jars littered the counter tops.
Here is one of the moments in my life where I stop and realize what amazing people my parents are. When did they have time to do all of this?
I love what they produce, but I don’t have the inclination to follow in their footsteps. I decided to do a quick version with the beautiful peppers, super delicious and crisp. Other veggies like green beans or asparagus, lightly blanched can be subbed in, and they should last in the fridge for about 3 months.
When handling the peppers, please wear gloves and don’t touch your face. I didn’t wear gloves the first year I made these and found myself bathing my hands in milk for about a week, desperately trying to take out the sting.
Jill's Quick Pickled Peppers
Makes 2 32oz jars
5 or 6 lbs of peppers-seeded, ribbed and sliced in half
2 Tsp sugar
2 Tsp salt
1 Cup hot water
32oz Apple cider vinegar
2 Cinnamon sticks
6 Allspice berries
Handful of pepper berries
2 Tbsp rosemary
2 Cloves garlic smashed
Pack peppers into the jars
Dissolve sugar and salt in hot water
Divide all ingredients into two equal parts. Combine and pour over peppers. Close jars.
Store in fridge for at least one week before using.