I was pretty excited today to go into the garden and find a bumper crop of banana peppers. I love their sweet flavor fresh from the plant; but, this many wouldn’t keep long enough for me to eat all of them. Fortunately, I have an old fashioned recipe that blends the fresh banana flavor with some sweet, some tart, and some spicy enhancements that are absolutely delicious on cheeseburgers, pizza, hotdogs, or even sandwiches. After just 10 minutes in boiling hot water this fresh and delicious medley will last in my pantry for at least a year! Less than an hour of work produced 9 pints of garden awesome. Now, all I have to do is pop open a jar the next time I want to elevate ordinary burgers to gourmet heaven–which is something I value now that the crazy school/sports season is here. Here’s all you need:
A pot to hold your jars with two inches of water covering them
a jar lifter or basket to lower into the water
Half pint jars and lids (the amount depends on the weight of your peppers.
1/2 pounds of banana peppers– (I was able to harvest almost 3 pounds today. If you have a few plants you will be surprised how many you can work with). If you have 1/2 pounds of peppers you will get about 2 1/2 pints out of it).
2 cups white vinegar
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large onion
6 bay leaves.
- Start water boiling in your pot to process your jars when done.
- Remove seeds and membranes from peppers (throw these in the compost.) Cut crosswise to make rings.
- Halve the onion and cut into one inch slices
- Bring all the ingredients–except peppers– to a rolling boil.
- Remove bay leaves if you want too. I usually leave them in because they won’t affect the flavor negatively and they look really pretty in the jars.
- pack the jars with the pepper rings and pour the hot brine over them until the peppers are covered and there is 1/2″ of headspace.
- wipe the rims and threads with a wet paper towel.
- Put lids and rings on fingertip tight.
- Carefully lower into boiling water and bring back to a boil. Process for 10 minutes. Lift out and let set for 12-24 hours.
- Enjoy the “popping” sound as your seals are formed. Once cool– label and plan your next pizza/cheeseburger/hotdog extraordinaire!