Peppers are a wonderful fruit, and easy to grow in the right conditions. Most varieties will give you a large harvest, and are quite prolific with reasonably little work. Some pruning, care with temperature, a good supply of water, and in our case nutrients.
We chose to grow our Pepper Plant in a DWC (Deep Water Culture) Hydroponics system from Growrilla Hydroponics, and we were not disappointed with the results. In hindsight we were a little harsh on the plant, and stopped it flowering twice by removing its flower buds and pruning it back hard. We wanted to see how large we could get it to be, and get the maximum amount of Pepper Pods.
If you want to see the playlist of the plant being grown from seed to harvest, head over to our YouTube Channel, or click the link below to go straight there.
Flash forward to harvest day, and we opened the grow tent to a sea of Red Pepper Pods ready for the picking. In total we harvested 1.6 kg worth of Peppers, and only 3 had not fully ripened and remained slightly green, and a little smaller than the rest. The Pepper Plant is a Olly F1, and grows perfectly formed small bell Peppers. Full of flavour, with some zing, but no spice. This makes it a great variety to Preserve in Oil like we are going to do today, as it is child friendly, and not overpowering which makes it a perfect accompaniment for most meals.
The recipe is an adaptation of an Italian classic. We chose to make it child friendly, and also to let the Peppers shine, so we adjusted slightly by removing some items. The original recipe included capers, and extra clove of garlic, and parsley. You can add those items back in if you like.
1.4 kg ripe bell peppers
1 cup (237g) White wine vinegar
1 cup (237g) Water
¼ cup of sugar
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
Roasting tray (large)
Heat proof bowl (large)
2 x sterilized jars with lids (See article for different ways to sterilize Jars)
- Preheat the grill to a medium/high setting, and arrange the shelf near the top.
- Place baking paper in a large roasting tray, and arrange Peppers with room to turn, and Grill. Keep a close eye on them, and turn them until every side has charred and blackened skin. This is also possible to do on a BBQ. When happy with the results, and the amazing smell, transfer the peppers to your large heat proof bowl, and cover to steam for 10 mins. This will help the skins come off in the next step.
- Prepare a surface ready for lots of pepper juice, seeds, and skins. This process can take a while, and keep in mind your Peppers will be steaming hot. Take care. Start by peeling back the blackened skin towards the top of the pepper, and removing the stem and as many seeds as you can. Cut them in half, and more if you like. Then transfer into another bowl. (This is where you can add some capers and parsley (2 tablespoons of both) if you want to.)
- In a saucepan, bring the water, Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, and Garlic to the boil. Boil for 2 mins, or until salt and sugar have been dissolved. Pour it over your peeled de seeded peppers, cover, and steep for 1 hour.
- Drain the steeped peppers, and keep a little bit of the liquid for later. Tightly pack the Peppers into your sterilized jar/s, and add 1 tablespoon of the liquid (brine) you saved earlier on top of the Peppers. Before adding the olive oil, it is good to try and remove any trapped air from the sides of the jar. Take a butter knife, and run it along the inside of the jar around the peppers, and watch for any bubbles that escape. Add Olive Oil until the Peppers are completely covered. Add the lid(s) tightly and allow them to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Check if the Peppers are still covered by the Oil, and if not add more.
- Allow the Peppers to cure for a further 2 days, before adding to the fridge, and or eating. They will keep for up to 3 months. As and when you take them out of the jar to eat, you can gently press down the Peppers further, and add more Olive Oil to cover them again.
Ian Hunter - Father of three, based in Southern Sweden. Author and Co owner of Grow Zone and growing Food all winter. See my full About Page here.
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