It's easy to make a peck of pickled peppers – or any other vegetable – with this basic recipe.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash the vegetables, add them to the ovenproof pot with one-half inch of water, cover, and roast them until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Step 2: Check canning jars for cracks and chips, then sterilize them, along with their lids, according to your canner's directions. After they're sterilized, fill them with hot water to keep them warm.
Step 3: When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, trim the ends, peel off any skin, and cut them into slices about one-quarter inch thick.
Step 4: Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, allspice, and mustard seeds in a large saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
TIP: Vary the spices according to the vegetable and your personal taste.
Step 5: Fill each jar with the vegetables, shallots, and one bay leaf, and then add the hot pickling liquid, leaving a quarter inch of space at the top. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth.
Step 6: Attach the lids and screw bands, place the jars in your canner, add enough water to cover the jars by two inches, bring to boil, and lower the heat to a gentle boil for 10 minutes.
TIP: If the water level falls to the top of the jars, add more boiling water.
Step 7: Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
: Look for signs of spoilage, which include a bulging lid, leakage, a hissing sound when the lid is opened, mold on the food or under the lid, bubbles, a bad smell, or vegetables that looks dark, slimy, or mushy. If you see any of these signs, toss it.
Step 8: Enjoy your pickled produce with hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, or just by itself!
FACT: Shakespeare introduced the phrase "in a pickle" into the English language in 1611 with his play, The Tempest.
You Will Need
3-4 lbs. beets
or green bean
Four one-pint canning jars
A boiling-water canner
A large saucepan
2 1/4 c. distilled vinegar with at least 5% acetic acid sometimes labeled