Peter piper ain’t got nothin’ on me.
I whipped up these homemade pickled peppers as part of the lamb and clams recipe I prepared for KitchenAid’s #HaveDinnerWithUs campaign. The peppers are tossed with red onion, fresh mint, and lemon juice for a bright and colorful topping. (Speaking of KitchenAid, don’t forget about the fab giveaway I’ve got going on right now. All you have to do is cook and share for your chance to win!)
Anyway, chef Chris’ original recipe called for a specific brand of spicy pickled peppers, a brand that isn’t available in our area. I scoured the grocery stores but, alas, despite living in the middle of pickle country, I couldn’t find a pickled pepper that wasn’t either a peppadew or a pepperoncini.
And honestly? I should have just made these from the beginning, because it was much quicker and easier (not to mention I didn’t have to change out of my yoga pants) than running around town to 3 different grocery stores searching for a commercial version.
Funny how that happens.
I used a red Fresno chili pepper (I think… my pepper identification skills need work) which has a good bit of kick along the lines of a jalapeño (which you could also use, red or green). You could also use a sweeter pepper, something like an Italian sweet pepper, and then chop up a bit of jalapeño to infuse the pickle with some heat (or leave it out altogether if you prefer). Leave out the seeds for an even milder flavor.
This recipe (adapted from Ashley’s lovely little cookbook) is a quick refrigerator pickle: meaning it’s not meant to be canned. The most obvious indicator of this is the addition of olive oil in the brine; a recipe made for home preserving will never include oil for safety reasons. But the result is so delicious they’ll be gone before it becomes a concern, that I can promise you. With a flavorful brine infused with generous amounts of crushed garlic, a little brown sugar and some fragrant oregano, these spicy pickled peppers will have you wishing a hot pepper plant would miraculously sprout (and thrive) in your sad little excuse for garden. Or maybe that’s just me?
What to do with them? Well, they’d make stellar burger or hot dog toppings on their own, for one. Or you could take a cute from the lamb and clams recipe and toss them with some red onion, fresh herbs, and a bit of acid (lemon juice, vinegar, or even some of the reserved pickle juice) for a bright and colorful relish that’d be perfect spooned over meat or seafood.
What I really want to know though, is how Peter could just go and pick a peck of pickled peppers. Because it seems to me that’d he’d need to first pick the peppers and then pickle them… unless he’s got some secret pickled pepper plant he’s not sharing with the rest of us. (Also, fun fact: it’s thought that the Peter referenced in the rhyme is actually Pierre Poivre, an eighteenth?century French horticulturalist. So maybe he really DID have a secret pickled pepper plant that’s been lost in time. A crying shame, if you ask me.)
Spicy Refrigerator Pickled Peppers
These quick pickled peppers are equal parts sweet, savory, and spicy, with brown sugar and garlic and plenty of spice.
- 1 cup white or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb red jalapenos or Italian roasting peppers, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, salt, brown sugar, oregano, garlic cloves, red chile and olive oil and bring to a simmer. Add sliced peppers and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the peppers are tender.
- Transfer peppers into a pint mason jar and pour the liquid over top; secure with airtight lid and refrigerate overnight to let flavors infuse. Peppers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.