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Pickling perfect peppers in not too many easy steps

on November 27, 2009

Pickling perfect peppers isn’t all that hard, and (as our colleagues over at Mission Local noted in a recent article) canning is an inexpensive way to produce charming, memorable homemade holiday gifts. Besides being cheap to make, this not-too-spicy Escabeche, with its deep green and red hues, is an especially appropriate seasonal treat. I’ve been making this pickle (based loosely on a recipe from Linda Ziedrich’s excellent book The Joy of Pickling) for three years now and giving it out to friends and family as a Christmas gift. To make about 12 pints of this pickle—a jalapeno, serrano, cascabella, radish, shallot, carrot, and spices mix—I spent about $30 on new jars and all the produce (I had the dry spices on my rack already).

Things you might want to know before making this pickle as shown here: I used about three pounds of peppers, and filled in a little over a pound of the carrots, radishes, and shallots. I eyeballed the dry spices—I tend to try to find a balance between mostly peppercorns (about a teaspoon per pint? Enough to fit in your palm when it’s all crinked up, about an inch in diameter and an inch high) with half as many cloves and a few allspice berries. A bit of lime skin helps keep the pickle firm but I don’t think it’s necessary for this pickle. The vinegar/water proportion is 1:1, with about two teaspoons Kosher salt per cup of liquid. Store your jars in a cool, dark place—sun will ruin the color.

If you want to give them as gifts, I suggest investing in a bit of pretty fabric and twine to adorn the caps of the jars. If you like, tie a “suggested uses” card to the top. Any of the vegetables within go well with eggs, as a relish for meat, and I especially like adding them to a sharp goat cheese like Humbolt Fog.

This pickle takes a full month to ferment, so time’s running out if you want to give these as gifts in 2009. Happy pickling, North Oakland.

Relevant pickling links:

Linda Ziedrich’s The Joy of Pickling on Amazon

Awesome Pickle (an awesome, Oakland-based pickle blog)

City Slicker Farms

Rick’s Picks (NYC-based pickler who sells to Whole Foods out here)


  1. tasneem on November 27, 2009 at 11:53 am

    I love this! Pickling always seemed kind of scary and complicated, but now I totally want to try it!

  2. Alice on November 29, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Amazing! What a perfect Sunday afternoon activity. (love the music 🙂

  3. Rachael on November 30, 2009 at 8:54 am

    So THAT’s how you do it! Loved the music, too…

  4. Dah7lin on November 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Can’t wait to try it my self after seeing that delightful video!

  5. A Rockridge Life on December 1, 2009 at 8:24 am

    great video work here Parks

  6. Diego on January 19, 2010 at 7:34 pm


  7. Kalina Bourdeau on August 3, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Not boiling contents and not processing UNDER water is NOT safe canning practices for long term storage. This is a made up recipe not using food safe methods. Try the Ball Blue Book of canning for actual safe methods or any other canning book by Ball. Sorry, but it’s true!

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