Swap-Box Hero: Hoagie Peppers

 

It was meant to be, I guess.

The same bag of banana peppers I’d exchanged for a carton of mushrooms Tuesday morning was still in the swap box after everyone had picked up Tuesday night—along with a second bag of mixed wax peppers.

By now, you probably know what that means: it’s time to prep some jars.

Pickled Hoagie Peppers

Add some snap and heat to a sandwich, salad, or pizza with these thinly sliced pepper rings. Use banana or Hungarian wax peppers, and, if you want to pump up the Scoville volume, tuck a few pieces of cayenne, jalapeño, or other hot variety into each jar, too. I went with my go-to brine ratio of 1 cup water: 1 cup vinegar: 1 tablespoon salt, but if you’ve got another favorite, by all means use it. This batch yielded 1-1/2 pints, which I split into five small jars. If you have a bigger family—or if you make a lot of hoagies—make this easy process even easier by loading them into bigger jars.

Peppers
Long and skinny, banana peppers are usually harvested while still yellow-green. Waxes are typically smaller, with a blunt end, and are often allowed to ripen to orange or even red.
  • 8-10 banana and/or Hungarian wax peppers
  • 1-2 hot peppers (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1-1/2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 tbsp pickling or kosher salt

Sterilize glass jars and rings; simmer the lids to soften their rubber sealers.

Wash the peppers and slice into thin rings. Most wax-type peppers are pretty hollow, but if you need to, remove any membrane and seeds, since they’ll just get mushy. Note, though, that I left the hot “guts” in the cayenne slices because I’m mainly using those to flavor the brine.

Rings
Rings of fire. Well, these are actually pretty mild.

Load a few slivers of garlic into each jar. Pack with the pepper rings.

Jars
Mix it up–or keep like with like. Just be sure to leave enough headroom for the brine and the lid.

Bring the water, vinegar, and salt to a boil.

Ladle the hot brine into the jars, leaving a half inch of headspace. Tap the jars lightly to loosen any bubbles. If necessary, use a chopstick to jiggle any big ones loose. Top off the brine if the volume has dropped.

Wipe the rims, apply the lids, and process in a boiling-water canning bath for 10 minutes. Let cure for a day or two before you bust in. Unopened, processed jars should last a year. Once you pop the seal, store in the fridge and enjoy in a month or two.

Tie-Dye
These tie-dyed beauties will top the next plain cheese pizza pie I order.

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