Hello and happy fall, Llama fanatics! It’s time to start cooking again. And I think a good way to do it is by making the most of what’s left in the garden. Our garden salsa pepper plant (not sure if that’s a real thing, but that’s what it was called on the seed packet… ) FLOURISHED this summer. I mean, it produced for us. I have yet to meet a harder working plant. I hope it’s a perennial. (I’m fairly certain it’s not, but I don’t really know anything about plants.)
Eating all these peppers before they had a chance to rot would have actually constituted a pretty heavy pepper load for any individual or couple of individuals to bear, which is not to say that my royal taste tester did a poor job. In fact, he excelled at using the peppers, especially in his daily eggs. However, that wasn’t enough to manage our one aggressive pepper plant.
Obvious solution? Quick pickle them. I’m not into canning, so I’m not creating a product with an indefinite shelf life or anything like that, but I do get the impression that my quick-pickled peppers will be usable for more weeks and in more ways than my fresh peppers.
Step one: Plant garden salsa peppers. Give them enough water and sunlight and wait for them to bear fruit. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Ok, ready for step 2? Great.
Step two: Harvest your peppers.
Step three: Assemble your peppers, and slice them thinly across, then add them to a jar with some chopped white onion.
I think I used around 20 peppers and easily filled three mason jars most of the way full. I alternated layers of peppers with a couple white onion pieces between layers.
Meanwhile, on the stovetop, begin heating up your pickling liquid (water, distilled white vinegar, chopped garlic, sugar, and salt). Bring the liquid just to a boil, or heat at least until all of the sugar and salt have dissolved.
Let your pickling liquid cool slightly, then pour over your peppers. Seal up those jars, and pop them in the fridge. Then let them marinate for about 24 hours before you go to town using them anywhere you’d use pickles or pickled jalapenos!
I found out that my favorite way to use these pickles was in tuna salad – I recipe I’d love to share if I can find a good way to take an attractive picture of a tuna salad. (I’ve found that it’s far from intuitive… at least for me.)
How long do they keep? I have no idea. I haven’t had any leftovers long enough to see them go bad… so that’s a good sign. I loved them so much that I’ve made two batches now, and I’ll be anxiously awaiting adding garden salsa peppers to our gardening plans next spring! But for the time being, I’m excited to be wrapping up garden season, and transitioning into pumpkin spice season. (Sorry I’m not sorry.)
Pickled Hot Garden Salsa Peppers
- 20 garden salsa (or jalapeno) peppers
- 1/4 of a medium white onion, chopped
- 2 c. distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 c. water
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
Thinly slice the peppers and add them along with the chopped onion to a glass container (or multiple containers – I used about 3 mason jars for this). In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, garlic, salt, and sugar. Heat until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved, or until the liquid just begins to boil.
Allow the liquid to cool in the saucepan for a few minutes, then transfer to a large (4 cup) liquid measuring cup or other pitcher (for easy pouring). Pour the liquid over the peppers, covering them completely. Close the jars and refrigerate. Allow the peppers to sit at least 24 hours or overnight for the best flavor before using them.
Try adding them to tuna salad!
xo – the llama