Posted by: Rachael | February 26, 2010

Peter picked a peck….

When in Romania we were invited out to lunch, and no ordinary lunch was this one. But I’m not going to wax eloquently about the seven different courses (yes, seven!!). I’m just going to tell you we came home with a recipe for pickled peppers that were so delicious we thought we were in pickle heaven. And it was a family-sized recipe too. We needed 10kg just to make one batch. It was too late to plant peppers when we got back, so we were hoping to find them cheaply at the vege shop, but they have been too expensive to warrant buing ANY, let along 10 kilos.
Until the day we saw them for 99cents a kilo, or even better, 3 bags for $2.49, and I knew our pepper day had come. Little kids washed them, bigger kid halved them, smallest ones destalked and deseeded, then I sliced. Into our big lugged-round-the-world-from-Berlin pot they all went and got covered with 200g sugar, 7T coarse salt (must be coarse), 1 litre of vinegar and a liberal sprinkling of peppercorns. It all sat for a day. They they were packed into jars, as many as possible in each jar, some celery leaves added to the top and the liquid spooned over.
(Actually we were supposed to add slices of fresh horseradish too, an easily-found commodity in Romanian markets – but it’s impossible to buy here and so I resorted to using horseradish sauce with 65% horseradish).
Horsey-issues aside, it seemed too easy.
The next morning the kitchen reeked of vinegar. It had seeped out of every jar, bubbling over in a riot of pepper excitement.
I mopped up, twisted the caps more tightly and placed the jars on a tray to catch further overflowings.
Three days later the stream continues to trickle. Have I done something wrong? Or is this just what happens? Or do you NEED the horseradish? At least I’ve found a New Zealand supplier where I’ll be able to buy some fresh root in spring and grow my own. And by then we’ll know if the peppers last through winter, and if they ever stop bubbling over.

(PS You can eat these as an accompaniment to any kind of meat or lentil patties, in salads or sandwiches, on their own, in stews or soups…..)

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Responses

  1. Whatever you figure out, I hope you post it- I’ve been planning on growing peppers since I read your Best Pickle Ever post on your travel blog. Since I’m in central Texas, I can grow peppers like weed plants, and I tend to hate sweet peppers (I like em hot), and the rest of the family adores them and pickles…

    Next summer I hope to be making 10 kilos of pepper pickles with your recipie, so please report what works and what does not!


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