By Martha // Posted 20 September, 2009 in: Farmers Market, Food + Drink, Recipes, Technique
Let’s be honest: I’m not the pickling artist in the family. Normally I leave these things to others, but something needed to be done with the two banana peppers from last month’s trip to the market—they were starting to look a little sad.
Wishfully thinking about pizza possibilities, I decided there was no choice but to pickle these babies. Tom was busy making dinner, so this had to be a Martha project. As Tom pointed out, a one-quart Ball jar wasn’t going to work for two lonely peppers. Not wanting to give up for lack of a not-too-big jar, I dug a Bonne Maman jam jar out of the recycling and set to slicing:
- 2 banana peppers, seeded and sliced into rings
Once I had the peppers sliced, I stuffed them into the jar.
For my pint-sized jar I needed a little under a cup of pickling juice. First question. What goes into the jars? (I guess I should have read this post a little more closely.) Tom normally uses two parts vinegar to one part water with 2 tablespoons of salt and adds sugar as applicable. Working with a small jar, I upped the vinegar a bit and brought down the salt:
- 3/4 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
With these four ingredients combined in a small pot over high heat, I opened the spice cupboard and asked a few more questions. Tom had advice for the pickling spices: garlic and mustard seeds were a must, and I offered up a bay leaf and red pepper flakes—then thought better of it—and opted for whole dried chiles instead.
- 2 small garlic cloves, smashed
- Pinch of mustard seeds (black, yellow, or both)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1–2 dried chiles, whole (or substitute a spoonful of red pepper flakes)
The next step is to add the pickling spices and garlic to the jar of peppers. Once the vinegar mixture has come to a boil, pour it over the peppers until it reaches the rim of the jar.
Done! Now our soon-to-be-pickles need to cool. After the jar and contents hit room temperature, cover, refrigerate, and enjoy in a day or two… preferably on pizza.