Pickled Red Chilli Peppers

Chilli-peppers will freeze and dry quite well, but pickling is an approach that retains their colour and flavour excellently.  The vinegar in the pickle is also believed to reduce the heat in chillis – no harm if (like me) you’re trying to store the ultra hot Ring of Fire variety!  This excellent recipe is from Mark Diacono’s A Year at Otter Farm and takes just a few minutes to make.  This recipe made three jam-jars of pickle, with the chillis standing upright in the jars (which looks the business!).

Ingredients:

• 250g chilli-peppers

• 500ml white wine vinegar

• a pinch of salt

• 100g caster sugar

• 3 bay leaves

• 12 peppercorns

Directions:
Dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar in a pan over a medium heat.  Add the bay leaf and the peppercorns and simmer for 10 minutes.  Be careful that it doesn’t boil off.  Remove from the heat.  Put the chilli-peppers in to sterilised jars and pour the hot vinegar over them to cover – then seal.  Store in a cool, dark cupboard for up to a year.  Keep in the fridge once opened.