Marinated Stuffed Cherry Peppers
Spicy and tangy, marinated stuffed cherry peppers with breadcrumbs are a marvelous, and versatile, side dish that elevates an ordinary sandwich or lunch of various small plates such as good cheese, salumi, bread, eggs, or a piece of simple fish. You can find these peppers at most Italian delis but why overpay for a small container when you can make large batches of the real thing and control what they are stuffed with? Our stuffing preference includes breadcrumb with parsley, lemon zest, dried oregano, and very good extra virgin olive oil. You can also stuff your peppers with prosciutto and provola.
My love affair with pickled hot peppers began as a young boy in my grandmother’s New Jersey basement. Nonna kept a well stocked pantry near the laundry room and it was full of all sorts of goodies including provola, salumi, olives, and, of course, pickled mason jars stuffedwith eggplant, giardiniera, and tart and spicy red and green peppers. Nonna’s hot peppers were sliced and pickled with a solution of vinegar and oil, though the white vinegar was the dominant part. Our pickling solution has a few more ingredients but we think it’s still simple enough for the pepper and stuffing flavors to come through.
We also have a pickled jalapeno recipe that may strike your fancy.
- Pickling solution:
- 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 10-15 hot cherry peppers, washed with stem and seeds removed
- 2½ cups of water
- 2½ cups of white distilled vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups of breadcrumb -home or the unseasoned variety from the store
- lemon zest from ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- extra virgin olive
- Adapted from Michael Symon’s Live to Cook by Michael Symon and Michael Ruhlman and DavidLebovitz.com. Prepare each pepper by removing the stem and inside seeds - essentially creating a hollowed out interior for the breadcrumb mixture to sit. Scoop the breadcrumb mixture into the opening, packing along the way. Place the pepper in a large glass jar and do not overfill. Bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for five-ten minutes. Pour the brine over the peppers (after removing from the heat) and place the lid on the jar. Once the container reaches room temperature, refrigerate for 7-10 days before consuming. You can use this method on many hot / chile peppers, including japeños. The peppers keep about 7-10 days, but they keep much, much longer.
- For the breadcrumb mixture, mix well with ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil and then bake on a cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees F.