Who picked a peck of pickled peppers? I did! Except I honestly don’t know how much a peck is. I think it might be a lot.
Certain types of pepper plants can be rather prolific when producing their fruits. Wax peppers are one of them. I have had quite a glut of these tasty treats, and have been trying to find a multitude of ways to enjoy them, from salads to appetizers, to just about anything I can come up with.
A lot have gone into the freezer for later use in spaghetti sauce and baked vegetables, but I decided to experiment with pickling some in a way similar to how Greek pepperoncini are done. I use the pepperoncini in a baked chicken dish and sometimes throw them into my tuna salad. So I figured these would be a good alternative to have. And they are!
These have a good tart bite from the vinegar while still maintaining a distinct pepper flavor. Garlic adds a little extra zing and gives a nice visual touch to your jars if you want to use these as gifts, assuming you feel like sharing!
Pickled Wax Pepper Recipe
The amount of the ingredients you need will depend on how many peppers you have. The brine is easy enough to make so it won’t be a hassle to make more as needed. Any extra can be stored in the freezer or refrigerator almost indefinitely until the next batch. The brine won’t freeze solid, by the way.
For the brine:
- 1 c. water
- 3 c. white wine/distilled vinegar
- 1 tsp. salt
For each quart jar:
- Fresh Wax Peppers
- 2 large garlic cloves, cut into small chunks
- 1 rounded 1/4 tsp. calcium chloride (optional)
Be sure to prepare all jars and lids by properly sterilizing them in a hot water bath or in the heated wash and dry cycle of your dishwasher. If you are new to canning please read my post on canning basics before beginning. You will also need to prepare a hot water bath for the jars after they are filled. Use a water-canner or a deep pot that is at least 4 inches taller that your jars. Fill the pot with water deep enough to cover the filled jars with an inch of water and set it to boil while you prepare your produce. Remember that the filled jars will displace some of the water, so the water level will actually be lower at first! Have something ready to safely scoop out boiling water if you realize later that you put too much.
Put the garlic chunks into your jars. Rinse peppers thoroughly and leave whole. Put them into the jars, alternating some with the stem pointing up with some pointing down. You want to pack them in as tightly as you can without crushing them. Add the calcium chloride to each jar. Though this is an optional ingredient, it is well worth using. It is a naturally occurring salt that helps to keep your vegetables crisp through the canning process. You will likely find it in home goods or hardware stores that sell canning equipment and supplies and it will usually be marketed for making pickles. It’s not expensive, and you don’t need much at a time.
Prepare your brine by placing all the ingredients in a pot on the stove and heating to a boil. Remove from the heat, and carefully pour into the jars with the peppers. Fill to 1/4 inch of the top of the jar. Use a flat spatula or butter knife to squeeze out any air bubbles trapped between the peppers and add more liquid as needed.
Put caps and rings on the jars and put them into the boiling water of your canning pot. Process your jars for 10 minutes, then remove from the boiling water. Allow the jars to cool to room temperature, remove the rings and check that the flat lid has sealed by gently pulling on it. If it is sealed properly, you can replace the ring and store your peppers in a cool dark place. If not, place the jar into the refrigerator to be stored. Allow your peppers to sit for at least 3-4 weeks to allow the pickling process to occur (I know, this requires patience).