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.