Peppers and chillies are very rewarding to grow, providing a generous and on-going harvest.

They freeze and dry well and can be preserved in sauces, salsas, relish and chutneys.

This is how we went about preserving fifty five jalapeno peppers.

For twenty jalapenos you will need 3 cloves of garlic, half a cup minced onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, 2 cups water and a cup of white vinegar.

I didn’t bother wearing rubber gloves while slicing the peppers ~ and deeply regretted it.

To sterilise bottles, wash them and their lids thoroughly to ensure there is absolutely no residual smell of their contents. Then pour about 3cm of water into each jar and microwave them on full power for five minutes. Slosh the boiling water about the jars and discard, and dry upside down in a warm oven. Don’t dry them with a cloth – this will merely re-contaminate them. The lids should be boiled to ensure sterility. If there is adhesive left on the jars after you have scraped off the old labels, rub with a mixture of bicarb and cooking oil in equal parts, leave for 15 minutes and rinse.

Slice the jalapenos. We decided to separate them according to colour.

Cover the bottom of a medium sized sauce pan with sunflower oil and sweat the onions and chopped garlic. Add the peppers and salt and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time. Add the water and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and cool.

Pour the mixture into a food processor and puree until it’s as smooth as you would like it to be, slowly adding the vinegar while the processor is running.

Return to the stove to warm up again.

Once it is hot pour into sterilised jars, seal and label.

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