Pepper Pa-Looza

Pepper Pa-Looza

I’ve been just the tiniest bit obsessed with peppers this year. I grew a bunch of different varieties — Hungarian Wax, Cayenne, Aci Sivri (a Turkish pepper), hot Italian cherry peppers, Spanish pequillo — and for once, I got a decent crop. I also bought a few bags of hot peppers from the local farmer’s market (as well as several bags of roasted New Mexico green peppers from another vendor). I made salsa out of the roasted green peppers, and I pickled just about everything else. For the pickled peppers I used Michael Symon’s Pickled Pepper recipe (via Michael Ruhlman). This is going to be my go-to recipe, maybe forever — I love these peppers. A little vinegar-y, a little garlicky, with coriander and peppercorns. I’ve been eating them on everything and only hope they’ll last all winter.

The cayenne and aci sivri (a nice sweet-hot Turkish pepper) I strung into ristras. The problem was that they were almost all green, and after hanging up for a day or two, they weren’t really ripening. So I took them down and put them in a cooler with a couple of apples and a couple of potatoes. The apples and potatoes give off ethelyne gas, which helps with the ripening. This is what they looked like after about four days — the ripening is noticeable — and the smell emanating from the cooler is marvelous.

It was a long hard slog this year growing peppers, and most of the season, they had to be under plastic in the hoop house, but I’ve got perhaps a year’s worth of delicious, home-grown peppers. And as we all know, using my own home-grown stuff makes me weirdly happy.

One thought on “Pepper Pa-Looza

  1. Wow, congratulations. This year was terrible for peppers, here in Oregon mine never even fruited, though it looked as if it finally might about mid-September. I keep trying to grow them because when I was a kid we had a neighbor who made pickled banana peppers that were amazingly delicious, and I dream of one day making them myself. But I’m going to have to buy the banana peppers, we just don’t have the climate for growing peppers here in the Willamette Valley (and especially in my gloomy backyard microclimate.)

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