Philadelphia, PA - Peppers are a summer garden (or farmers market) staple, yet their abundance can quickly become excessive. Unfortunately, eating all within their short ripeness window may be unrealistic; any leftovers may end up sitting in your fridge or pantry until eventually eaten up. Thankfully, there are multiple methods for preserving peppers for year-round consumption, such as canning, freezing, or drying them.
Sweet and hot peppers can be preserved through various recipes, from soup to salsa, pasta sauce to dip, and pizza topping to stir fry. Furthermore, they're easy to freeze throughout the year's harvest - simply ensure they are correctly stored!
Sweet bell peppers can be turned into an eye-catching salsa to preserve their color and flavor, like this vibrant blend made with red and yellow bell peppers, mango, spicy serrano chilies, and zesty cilantro. Enjoy it as part of a tortilla chip dip or spoon it over fish, chicken, or veggies for maximum impact!
Reusing peppers by turning them into an aromatic chili paste is another effective way to use surplus peppers. Depending on your preferred heat level, the recipe can range from mild to spicy; all it requires are peppers, oil, garlic, and herbs ground into a thick paste for your sauce - perfect for everything from Korean cuisine to Portuguese dishes as it offers an affordable and delicious alternative to store-bought versions!
Green and red bell peppers can both be transformed into delicious pickles! First roasted to add depth of flavor before mixing with vinegar solution to pack into jars for storage.
Pickled peppers add instant flavor to any recipe, significantly when their spicy intensity can be lessened by using milder vinegar or adding aromatic ingredients such as onions or garlic into their pickling solution.
Chile peppers and bell peppers can be frozen for later use during the year by
removing their stems, seeds, and membranes before peeling and chopping them. Wear gloves when cutting the peppers so the oils do not burn your hands when peeling; once chopped, they can be cut into slices to use in soups, enchiladas, tacos, and other cooked recipes.
Freezing peppers is ideal for sweet and hot peppers, but only when they have been pre-roasted before being stored in the freezer. This allows them to maintain their crisp texture and vibrant colors after thawing out, and it's straightforward: lay them out on waxed paper on a baking sheet before putting them into the freezer until completely frozen, before transferring them to zip-top bags for storage.