How to prepare pickled peppers
To make pickled peppers, first you need to clean them: remove the stalk, seeds and internal white filaments. Carefully remove any damaged or dented parts. Cut them into binders or pieces not too small, wash them well and let them dry completely on a clean cloth. Also wash the basil and let it dry.
Using a kitchen tongs, arrange the peppers in previously sterilized jars, alternating layers of vegetables with aromatic herbs, peppercorns and fennel seeds. Try to fill the jars without leaving any spaces. Fill the jars up to 2 cm from the edge.
Mix the water and vinegar then pour into the jars until the vegetables are completely covered, reaching 1 cm from the edge. Close the jars and let it rest for an hour then check if the vinegar level has dropped, if so, top up to leave 1 cm from the edge again. Put a spacer in each jar then close.
Arrange the jars in a large pot separating them with clean tea towels so that they do not collide with each other. Cover with water until submerged by at least 5 cm and bring to a boil. Pasteurize the peppers in vinegar for 20 minutes after boiling without stopping. Turn off, let the jars cool in the water then remove them from the pot.
Once cold, check that the vacuum is properly formed and that the vegetables are covered with vinegar. At this point the preserves are ready and the jars can be placed in the pantry.
Variants to the recipe
You can customize pickled peppers by changing the ratio of water and vinegar in the preserving liquid or by changing spices, using those that best meet your tastes.
- Degree of acidity. If you use a vinegar with an acidity of at least 6%, you can make a slightly less acidic mixture, consisting of equal quantities of water and vinegar, however, bear in mind that the vinegar must never be less than 50% of the total liquid. On the contrary, if you particularly love the taste of vinegar, you can use it as it is without diluting it, in this case you can also use apple vinegar with an acidity of more than 5%.
- Herbs. You can add or vary the flavors by adding garlic, parsley or other herbs to your taste.
- Blanch the vegetables. In pickled vegetables, it is not necessary to blanch the vegetables before putting them into jars. This step is in fact used to acidify vegetables which will then be put in oil.
Making safe preserves
Homemade preserves can also be made safely on your own, as long as you observe the correct precautions during their preparation. For the safety of peppers in oil it is important to pay attention to hygiene, sterilize the jars and then pasteurize them. It is also essential to have the right degree of acidity, which avoids the risk of botulinum. I recommend reading the article on how to make preserves safely and the guidelines of the ministry of health that you find linked.