Here’s an old Italian recipe for canning peppers — a favorite of my husband. Searching the internet, you’ll come across many variations – all probably good — but here’s a basic recipe to start you on your course. We canned these using the boiling method, though pressure canners might make the process easier. Not sure how, though, as this was as simple to do as it gets!
Unfortunately, I can’t give you too much direction on amounts. Apparently the Italians are like my mother in the sense they do everything “by taste.” I had my husband on hand to do the honors. Undoubtedly you’ll find your own guinea pig!
Hungarian Wax Peppers
Bushel or basket full of Hungarian Wax peppers
Now comes the fun part. You must dry your peppers as well as you possibly can. To begin, remove stems from your peppers and then cut them to desired thickness. I cut mine into about 1/8″ rings. Lay them out in a dish and sprinkle table salt liberally over the peppers. Best to remove as many seeds during this process as you can, then let them sit in salt for at least 3 1/2 hours.
This will dehydrate the peppers, leaving your dish full (relatively speaking) of water. Before draining the water, mix the peppers thoroughly in the water to remove any remaining salt. To drain, leave peppers in a colander overnight. We pressed ours with a heavy weight to be sure the water drained out as much as possible. The next morning, I took them from colander to plate, enfolding them in paper towels to absorb any excess water.
Once drained, add oregano, garlic powder and canola oil to taste. Mix well.
Cold-pack the peppers in canning jars and be sure to follow manufacturer’s directions for safe and healthy canning procedures. We boiled water in a large pot, making sure there was at least an inch of water over and above the height of our jars. Also, place a wire rack on bottom of pot, setting jars on top. This allows for water to circulate beneath the jars for complete heating.
While water is heating up, keep your jars and lids warm (helps to avoid glass breakage when full jars are submerged in boiling water). The blue gadget is a funnel to make filling your jars easier. Came in a kit I found at my local grocery store. Also, when filling, you may need to add more oil to completely cover peppers — but don’t overfill. You must leave room for expansion as food heats, so follow directions per your recipe. We left 1/2 inch of space at the top of ours.
Boiling time depends on what you’re canning and how large your jar is, so boil according to instructions. In our case, we used small jars and boiled for approximately 10 – 15 minutes.
Serve with fresh from the bakery Italian bread — or home-baked, if you’re the industrious sort. Enjoy!
Note: Best to refrigerate and consume within 2 – 3 days. For long term storage, low acidic foods (vegetables) should be canned via the pressure canner. Higher acidic foods (fruits and pickled vegetables) may be safely canned and stored using this boiling method.