One of our favorite products is jarred marinated red bell peppers. They're convenient for recipes that call for roasted red peppers, and good to nibble on straight too.
Usually we just buy them at Trader Joe's, but if you can get a good deal on a lot of peppers, you can easily make and can your own.
It takes a while for red bell peppers to fully ripen into their redness, which I suppose is why they cost more than the green variety. Late August is a great time to find them at a reasonable price at a farmers market or the supermarket.
To make your own, just char the peppers in a broiler or over flame, remove the blackened skin and seeds, bottle with a boiled vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil marinade.
If you just want to use up the peppers quickly, you can skip the canning steps and just keep them refrigerated in their marinade (they'll last a couple of weeks in the fridge).
Or process the jars in a water bath if you want to store them in the cupboard or for a longer period of time.
Marinated Roasted Red Bell Peppers
- 4 pounds firm, fresh, clean red bell peppers
- 1 cup bottled lemon juice*
- 2 cups white vinegar (5%)
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil + additional for roasting the peppers
- 2 cloves garlic, quartered
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 pint canning jars
- *Bottle lemon juice has a consistent level of acidity which you need for this canning recipe.
Prepare water bath and mason jars if canning
If you are canning for shelf storage (and not just chilling in the refrigerator), place a steaming rack at the bottom of a large (12-qt) pot, add the empty mason jars that you will be using for canning.
Fill the pot with enough water to cover the jars and bring to a boil. It takes a while to get a large pot of water to boil, so while the water is heating, proceed with the recipe.2a Blacken Peppers, Broiler Method
Position rack in oven so that the top surface of bell peppers placed in the oven will be 4-5 inches from the broiler heat element. Rub the surface of the peppers with a little olive oil (this will help them blister faster).
Preheat broiler on high. Place peppers either directly on the top oven rack, with a pan to catch the drippings on a rack beneath, or place on a aluminum-foil or Silpat lined broiler pan (a cookie sheet will warp).
As the surface of the peppers blister and blacken, turn them with tongs so that they will blacken on all sides.2b Blacken Peppers, Stovetop Method
If you have a gas range (or grill) you can place the peppers directly on the range top so that the flames lick the peppers. Work carefully so that as soon as one section of a pepper is blackened, you turn it to work on a fresh side.
If you have an electric stove, heat a cast iron pan on high and place the peppers in the pan, allowing the peel to blister and blacken, turning so that all sides get blackened.
Remove blackened peel
When the peppers are all well blistered and blackened, place in a non-reactive bowl and cover. (The steam from the hot peppers will help dislodge the skins.)
Once the peppers have cooled enough to handle, work with them one by one over a plate, gently peel off the blackened skins.
Cut the peppers in half and remove and discard the seed pods, stems and all seeds.
Heat lemon juice, white vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt,
in a saucepan until boiling.
Sterilize the lids
If canning for shelf storage, remove some boiling water from the pot of boiling water in step one and place into a bowl. Put the lids in that bowl.
Distribute peppers and vinegar mixture in jars
Use tongs or a jar lifter to remove mason jars from the boiling water in step 1 (if canning). Distribute the peppers evenly among the jars. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the peppers to cover (try to make sure some garlic gets in each jar).
Leave 1/2-inch head space on the jars. Wipe the rims with a clean, dampened paper towel. Place on lids and rings (do not tighten rings too tight).
At this point you can store in the refrigerator for several weeks. If you want longer storage, or shelf storage, proceed.
Water bath for canning
Place filled jars in boiling water on a rack (from step 1). (Helps to use tongs and wear thick rubber gloves). Water should cover jars by at least an inch. Boil for 15 minutes.
Let cool in pot for several minutes, remove. Let cool completely. You should hear the jars "pop" as the lids seal.
If a jar does not seal, store it in the refrigerator and use up within a few weeks. Otherwise the jars should last a year.
Well-Preserved by Eugenia Bone