Red Pepper Palooza

Red Bell Peppers

See that pretty picture? That’s a very large bushel basket of peppers. I have used a couple. I sent some to the other house with girl child. I still have way more red bell peppers than I can use in a few days though. What possessed me? Was it an evil spirit invading me at the very last farmer’s market of the season that just happened to be Halloween? I doubt it. I think it boils down to the fact that I LIKE red bell peppers but know that the cost of them makes me cringe. Why pay one or two dollars for one in a week or two when I can get a HUGE basket of them for $10.00?

I haven’t sorted exactly what I will do with them yet. You see, I don’t often COOK with red bell peppers because the children don’t really like them. My mother said that she would chop them up and freeze them for use in cooking over the winter. Hmm. Note: no cooking with them. I put them in salads. I put them in stir fry (but frozen ones don’t seem to work right in my mind for stir fry) I put them in frittatas, but will frozen work there?

I thought to roast and jar them and not have to rely on the expensive jarred ones in the many recipes that call for them. I don’t know how to do that though and if it is possible without a pressure canner.

I ruled out a red pepper relish recipe because of the three cups of honey. I didn’t insist on the giant size on Sunday at the farmer’s market and honey prices-yikes.

So, I am thinking-roasting and freezing (does that work?) some. Making up some stuffed bell peppers for my mother and possibly us and freezing those. (Does anyone have a good recipe for stuffed peppers that freeze well?) and this recipe I have for Pepper-Onion relish.

Pepper-Onion Relish

4 cups chopped onions
4 cups chopped sweet bell pepper
1/2 cup honey
4 cups vinegar

Combine all ingredients and bring to boil. Cook until slightly thickened. (about 45 minutes) Pack the hot relish into hot scalded pint jars. Fill to top of jar. Seal. Cool. Store in refrigerator.

If extended storage without refrigeration is desired, leave 1/4″ headspace, seal and process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

I suspect I won’t trust it enough without refrigeration which leads me to wonder…what can I do with pepper-onion relish? Top veggie burgers? Does anyone else get quirky about worrying they will die from canning on their own? I know I shouldn’t. I grew up canning.

Comments

  1. I don’t know if they freeze well or not (I’ve never tried) but we like this orzo stuffed pepper recipe. We’re planning to make it sometime this week.

    I don’t see why roasting and freezing the peppers wouldn’t work.

  2. And by this week I mean this month. Oops.

  3. I have roasted and frozen jalapenos and pablanos and they work really well that way. If you like using red peppers as they come in the jars then you should roast them, peel them, brush with a little oil (keeps them supple) and freeze in portions you might use. You will most likely not enjoy the quality as much if you freeze raw peppers.

    Or if you don’t want to freeze them (you can only can them without a pressure cooker if you pickle them) or dry them you can roast them, peel them, and then layer them in jars with olive oil. The USDA is extremely reluctant to endorse storing things in oil but people have been doing it successfully for thousands of years. The main thing is to make sure there are no air pockets and that the peppers are cooked first.