Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pink Pickled Banana Peppers for Sandwiches

Pink Pickled Banana Peppers for Sandwiches

This is a fun little sandwich topping to whip up if you've got a beet and a handful of banana peppers.

If you are a gardener, hope is your best ally. And soil amendments. Hope and good dirt.

Between the vagaries of weather and varmints, you really need to be made of strong stuff--and have a lot of hope--to want to plant year after year. The first year? Optimism is available in spades. After that? It takes some doing.

After asking for 'all the vegetables' on my order at sub shops, I realized I love the zing of pickled banana peppers on my sandwiches. Since I got over my fear of making pickles I realized how damn easy it is to put up a jar or two. Produce + vinegar + water + garlic + time = pickles. I figured I could grow a few banana pepper plants and put up my own pickles.

The first year I planted one plant and harvested maybe 6-8 peppers over the course of 6 weeks. You can see how I used one here in my Layered Summer Vegetable Appetizer.

The second year I planted two plants. One fell into the swamp a varmint knocked one tiny plant over soon after planting [part of the reason I don't start my own seeds--I have less emotional investment in a plant if it fails soon after planting]. The survivor managed to produce probably a dozen or so peppers over the course of the summer. Once I even had enough ripe simultaneously, when combined with a pint of peppers from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, to put up a pint of pickled peppers. Woot.

This year, I planted 3 plants.  My hope has paid off. In spades.

On a whim right before vacation, or rather born from the desperation of needing to empty the garden and fridge before a long trip where we ate locally while on the road, I whipped up a batch of quick refrigerator pickles using a leftover kohlrabi and a bunch of banana peppers that wouldn't last in the garden for 2 weeks. I had one beet left from the farm share and decided to peel and slice it and add to the jars. The result is so fun! Pink pickled peppers. I can see these diced on top of a deviled egg or egg salad, in grilled cheese, on pizza, or in sandwiches. Plenty of sandwiches--how pretty is that?
The jar on the right is peeled sliced kohlrabi, the one in the middle is our banana pepper project, and the rest of the beet is in the little jar to the left. I just grabbed my phone since I really wasn't thinking this out. I was focused on vacation.
Top view, same order. Just a few slices of beet go a long way, color wise.
At first, the peppers stay green. If you go West for 2 weeks, they turn pink. Um . . .

Pink Pickled Banana Peppers for Sandwiches (makes 2 pints)

3 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 cup water
1 large clove garlic (I'm using up my roasted garlic from last season)
3½  cups thinly sliced banana peppers (I remove the stem end and scoop out the seeds)
1 small beet, peeled and thinly sliced

In a saucepan combine vinegar, water, and garlic. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes, turn off heat and remove garlic. While the vinegar is heating, wash jars and pack with sliced peppers. Top with beets. Pour vinegar over vegetables. Close jar--I prefer these storage lids over any metal foolishness for refrigerator pickles (Amazon affiliate link). Let them hang out in the fridge for 2 weeks while you're on vacation, then come back and enjoy! I typically use refrigerator pickles for up to a month after they are cured.

Note: if you want to put up large amounts for enjoying in the winter, grab a stock pot and a metal rack to lift the jars off the bottom and you're good to go--10 minutes under boiling water and your pickles are shelf stable. [That's what I did with all the peppers in the bowl above, shown below.]

For more recipes using peppers, please see my Pepper Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For more ideas on Preserving the Harvest, please see my Pinterest board.

Pink Pickled Banana Peppers on Punk Domestics


  1. We got pickling cucumbers in the share last week so I did what I always do: bought a jar of pickles and added my new cucumbers to it. It's easy, although the irony is so is this after reading your post and I even have jars of different pickling seasonings someone gave me. Needless to say I have to get over my fear of canning and pickling and give this a try.

    1. Girlfriend, you canned tomatoes. Canned tomatoes! This is NOTHING compared to canning tomatoes. You can boil water, right? If you can boil water you can boil vinegar + water. The only difference between slicing your cukes and adding them to the store-bought pickles is that you'd use your own jar + brine. And it's a strong vinegar brine--definitely going to preserve and not cause botulism!
      Go for it. (I don't know beans about pickling spices other than what I used on my Asian-inspired Kohlrabi pickles).
      I mean seriously--you make your own pie crust. You can pickle.

  2. I just love pickled peppers for toping sandwiches. How fun to make them pink! It's so true that gardening takes a good dose of hope, but doesn't blogging also?!

    1. Rachel,
      I think you are right--blogging does take some hope!