Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

My honey loooooves pickled jalapenos. Every night before dinner he prepares for himself what I call his relish tray – a jar lid full of pickled jalapenos and other pickled goodies.

Every now and then, packages of jalapenos and other peppers show up in the Lowes Foods’ discount produce rack selling for pocket change. I’ve read that the more wrinkly the pepper, the hotter it is. The first time I took some of the discount peppers home and made this recipe, he pretty much freaked out, in a good way, so I’ve been making them regularly ever since. It’s even better when our CSA farm (In Good Heart Farm) has them as part of our share or as a bonus.

I adjust the recipe according to how many peppers I have. I keep the vinegar-water-sugar-salt ratio the same, but the amounts for the additional ingredients, like the carrots, garlic, herbs and spices, just depend on what I have on hand. I use an old BJs chocolate-covered almond plastic container that holds about 3-1/2 pints. 1-1/2 pounds of peppers fits in it with some room to spare.

If you have a hot pepper lover in your life, think about making them some pickled peppers for Christmas. A mix of red and green peppers is very festive.

Pickled Jalapenos - Christmas gift idea from Grabbing the Gusto

Pickled Jalapenos – Christmas gift idea from Grabbing the Gusto

Pickled Jalapenos

You’ll need one disposable latex glove, a glass jar with a tight sealing lid, and a small saucepan.

  • 1 pound jalapenos (and/or other hot and sweet peppers), sliced into rings – Put a glove on the hand that’s not holding the knife. I don’t remove the ribs and seeds – the seeds that are in the peppers go in, the seeds left behind on the cutting board don’t. They will be hotter with the seeds and ribs in there.
  • Optional sliced vegetables: carrots (about 1/2 to 1 cup), garlic (a few cloves), Hakurei turnips (about 1/2 to 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Optional spices: coriander seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, allspice berries, fennel seeds, celery seeds.
  • 1-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/4 cup filtered water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Put jalapeno rings into the jar along with any other sliced vegetables, for example, carrot, Hakurei turnip, and garlic. Add peppercorns, a few bay leaves and any other spices you’d like.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir constantly over medium heat just until the sugar and salt are dissolved. It doesn’t have to come to a boil. You only need to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Pour the liquid over the peppers until they are completely submerged. If the peppers aren’t covered, make a little more pickling liquid. (I’ve had to do this before too.)


Allow the liquid to cool completely, about an hour or two, then put on the lid and refrigerate. The peppers will be ready to eat in 24 hours but will get better the longer they sit.

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