Last year, I planted a variety of sweet pepper called Lunchbox Pepper Mix. I got them from Johny’s Selected Seeds, you can find them here.
They are my favorite sweet pepper to grow because they are beautiful, usually don’t attract pests, and each plant produces a whole lot of peppers.
One main problem you can come across when growing regular size sweet peppers is blossom end rot. Before the peppers reach maturity, its bottom starts rotting. This is caused because of calcium deficiency in the soil.
The funny thing is that I’ll have regular sweet bell peppers growing right next to the lunchbox peppers, the regular size peppers will have blossom end rot while the lunchbox peppers produce many beautiful peppers. I guess that they just don’t require as much calcium as the bell peppers. So if you had a problem growing bell peppers in the past, you should give those a try.
Of course, they are very tasty as well. Their flesh is thinner and they are very sweet. They have very little seeds inside of them.
I never cooked them but I am sure you can. I usually use them in salads or filled with something like cream cheese, egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad… Or we just snack on them as they are. The kids love them because they are sweet, small, and colorful.
I planted many pepper plants because I love them so much, however, I found out that most of the people who came to the market in our small town didn’t want to give them a try.
So I ended up with bags and bags of colorful peppers. I tried to keep some in the fridge because they will last a really long time but eventually I ran out of space.
Thankfully, my mother came from Israel for a visit and showed me how she preserves vegetables in vintages and salt.
She does the same thing with cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, kohlrabi, fennel, carrots, hot peppers, and radish.
She starts by washing the peppers and getting rid of the stem…
Next, she makes a little slit in the bottom half of the pepper. If you are doing this with bell peppers, you’ll cut them into large pieces and remove the seeds. Those little lunchbox peppers have hardly any seeds in them, so she just made a little cut so the vinegar and salt can get inside.
Just like that…
She went on until the jar was full…
We used a half gallon Ball jar.
Making sure to leave about an inch of headroom.
Next, she took one garlic clove…
And crushed it. I always do this with a knife laid on its side, but she likes doing it with her hands. She leaves the peel on and just crushs the clove a bit to release all those glorious garlic juices.
Place the garlic on top of the peppers. Now, if you have some dill, you can add it in, it gives a great taste too.
Next, she adds between one half to one cup of vinegar to the jar (remember we used half a gallon jar). If you like the taste of vinegar, add a cup. If you are not a very big vinegar fan, add half a cup.
She boils some water and for every cup of boiling water adds one teaspoon of salt.
She adds this right on top of the peppers and keeps on adding cups of boiling water with a teaspoon of salt until the jar is full.
Once the jar is full of liquid, she uses a tablespoon to push the peppers under the liquid. Make sure not to use your fingers so you don’t introduce bacteria. Also, don’t touch the rim of the jar with your hands.
If you have canning weights place one weight on the top of the peppers to keep them inside the liquid. You can also do that with a clean river rock.
We didn’t use canning weights because we knew that we would eat the peppers within a couple of weeks, but if you want them to keep longer it’s a really good idea to use some sort of weight.
The last step is to close the jar and shake it a little bit so the vinegar and the brine solution mix.
Ta-da!! Isn’t it beautiful?
Ok, one more photo…
Keep them at room temperature for five days. They will change their color a bit, and by that point they are ready to eat. Once you open the jar, keep it refrigerated.
If you plan on keeping them for a long period in the jar, you’ll have to place the jar in a cool place. A root cellar is ideal. They will last a few months.
They are great to add to salads or sandwiches, or as a side to a good sandwich. Or, of course, just as a snack.
Till next time,