Monday, October 15, 2018

End of the Garden Red Pepper Spread

Thanks everyone for your kind thoughts and encouragement regarding my previous post. I have a lot to sort through, but I'll get there. Fortunately I'm the sort of person that can set things aside, and get on with whatever needs to be done in the meantime. As survival techniques go, it has always served me well.

I wanted to share this recipe before all the tomatoes and red peppers are through in the Northern hemisphere. I had a glut to work with, and this made roughly 3 1/2 pints. I will include the instructions for canning in a water bath, but we used ours over the course of two weeks and just stored the jars in the fridge. The spread was wonderful as a pizza sauce, tossed with pasta, and as a sauce for shakshuka.It was also delicious stirred into hummous. It is also perfect on a cheese sandwich in place of mustard. I'm sure you'll find plenty of uses for it.

The recipe I used comes from the Ball Blue Book of Canning. I was having trouble removing the skins completely from the peppers so I just didn't worry about it with the last few. Once the peppers go through the food processor it wasn't noticeable anyway, so don't worry if after roasting the skins still won't budge.

If you will be canning, sterilise your clean jars and keep warm until needed. The spread takes some time to cook down, so plan accordingly. You'll need to roast the vegetables first, so that's a good time to get your jars ready.

You Will Need:

8-9 large red bell peppers (I used a couple yellow as well because I had them)
1 pound tomatoes
2-4 large cloves of garlic to taste
1 small white onion
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar

Roast peppers on a baking sheet under the broiler or on a grill until the skin wrinkles and chars in spots. The blue book says a 425 degree F oven will also work, but it will take longer. Turn peppers and roast other side. Remove from oven and place peppers in a paper bag and secure closed. Let cool 15 minutes while you prepare the tomatoes, onion, and garlic in the same manner. Cool as peppers in paper bag.

When vegetables are cool, peel and seed the tomatoes and peppers. Peel the garlic and onion, chopping coarsely. Combine vegetables in food processor and puree. I didn't go for absolutely smooth as I like a bit of texture to the spread. do as you like,.

In a large, heavy sauce pot combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until spread thickens and mounds on a spoon. You may need to reduce the heat at the end as it cooks down, and stir it frequently as the spread can scorch. A long handled wooden spoon is nice here as it can splatter when cooking.

Ladle hot spread into sterilised jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with a spatula, wipe treads and adjust lids and bands. Process in a water-bath canner 15 minutes (pints) or 10 minutes (half pints) adding 1 minute for each 1,000 feet above sea level at your location. After processing time is up, turn off the burner and let stand 5 minutes to cool down before removing from canner. Let stand 12-24 hours before checking seals.

Keeps about 2 weeks in the fridge, or about 1 year unopened on the shelf.


Bibi Maizoon said...

That's an interesting twist with the red wine vinegar- sounds deliciously Italian!
Sorting shit through seems to be a never-ending task. We are not on speaking terms with half of my In-Laws after the asinine antics that went on at my niece's wedding in August.
As Rosanna Rosanna Danna said- "It's always a'sumthin'!

bahnwärterin said...

as i have no peppers here i will do with the rest of my tomatoes. some are still green, but i learned that after cooking they are not poisonous anymore - like potatoes.
glad to hear that you´r on the way! my best wishes for that!!

Perdita Tinsel said...

Sounds delicious. I always make spaghetti sauce and freeze it, I do want to take up preserving though.

Polyester Princess said...

Sounds absolutely yummy! Both my Mum and grandmother used a water-bath canner, and I think my Mum's is still in the basement of my parents' house. Interesting about adding 1 minute for each 1,000 feet above sea level. I'd never heard that! Probably because we aren't much above see level here, let alone 1,000 feet! xxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

I always think of canning as an uniquely American practice. I know we used to bottle a lot of fruit and of course make jams, jellies and chutneys, but I don't recall ever hearing about or reading about people in the UK canning fruit/vegetables; I wonder why?

Vix said...

That looks and sounds lovely.
My tomatoes are still greener than a green thing. i think I'll harvest them tomorrow and make a Keralan green tomato curry.
I hope all your shit sorts itself out very soon. xxx

Goody said...

I imagine this would do well with oregano if you wanted to go for a pizza sauce feel. I was wondering how your trip went-I figured if you didn't mention it, I wouldn't ask.

green tomatoes can be grated and used in baking to provide moisture-similar to courgettes. If you have a lot of them, the grated pulp freezes well and can be a handy thing for baking in winter.

It can be a good hobby, particularly with a young child at home. Danny always took his job of inspecting the jars for cracks and printing out the labels very seriously! If you do something like growing a vinegar mother and bottling the vinegar it can be educational too. There's something almost zen about going through all the steps-I find it calming. If you get serious about it, let me know and I can send you a Blue Book. Of all the canning guides it is the easiest to use, and I don't know why they don't publish it outside the U.S.

I never knew about the elevation thing until I moved to Nebraska either. Most things that are high acid like jam or chutney don't absolutely require a watere bath but it is an extra layer of insurance, so why not? Unless you're doing meat or vegetables without vinegar the odds of poisioning anyone are slkim, but the contenmts can spoil or go mouldy.

Might be that our weather is so extreme in the US that it makes sense to put by fruit and veg in the event of emergency (at least in the North where it snows). I don't bother with most fruit but every year I make some spiced apple rings in syrup to serve at Chtristmas.

Green tomato curry is an excellent use for them. They make a nice chutney with apples as well if you have a glut.

Radostin said...


Beth Waltz said...

I have only a few memories of the summer kitchen "out back" of the farmhouse, with a scrubbed brick floor, floor to ceiling windows "to catch the breeze," two stoves and a table big enough and sturdy enough to support two dozen quart jars -- and sometimes a slaughtered hog*.

The family jelly cupboard (painted an elegant black) now reposes in my foyer. Thanks, Goody, for reminding me of the time when my mother put jars of freshly made grape jelly on its shelves (and I got to lick the jelly off the left-over paraffin seals!).

*A big city ghost-hunter had to remove an episode from his vlog when it was finally explained to him that a summer kitchen was NOT a prep room for a small town mortician. Hilarious!

Goody said...

Summer kitchen not for mortician! Ooof!
Paraffin is a no-no today as you can't be certain it sealed. They still sell it with the canning items but I wouldn't use it. Kind of a shame as it was so pretty (and you could float a few sequins on top if you were giving it as a holiday gift). I need a jelly cupboard-all I have is an industrial metal bookcase with heavy duty wooden shelves. Holds a lot but ugly...

Emily from Etsy said...

The recipe looks tasty. Don't let Danny see the title of your blog post, or he'll ask you to make him a hot dog and "drag it through the End of the Garden Red Pepper Spread." :)

Goody said...

Ha! He probably would.