I grow capsicum but usually only the long ones – they seem to be fairly immune to fruit fly attack and I have save the seeds and have grown more this year. Capsicum and Chilli plants also last for more than one season so this year I left some in the ground over Winter, pruning them quite hard, and, although they looked quite sad all Winter as soon as the weather warmed up they were off and growing with fruit being formed well before the ones I planted from seedlings.
When red capsicums are on special I buy big and make this – it is time consuming and messy and I am not sure how much money I am saving but there is a certain satisfaction that I am eating a “luxury” food. I haven’t yet managed to grow enough capsicums to have bulk to preserve. My home grown ones are allowed to hang on the plant and are eaten fresh as needed.
Char grilled preserved capsicums
On some posts I have seen the danger of getting botulism from poorly preserved capsicum so beware of smelly, squishy preserves and use them within a couple of weeks or heat process. For further information about preserving capsicum a fact sheet is available from the CSIRO (http://www.csiro.au) — Preservation of Vegetables in Oil and Vinegar.
- 8 red / yellow capsicums – whatever is on special or is growing in the garden
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups white vinegar (or enough needed to cover the capsicum after cooking and slicing)
- 1 cup light olive oil
1. Peel the capsicums – select a method:
a) Put wire mesh on gas wok burner and arrange whole capsicums, turning as they char.
b) Cut capsicums into quarters, remove seeds and cores. Place capsicums on an oven tray, skin-side up, cook under a hot grill until skins blister and begin to darken
c) Cook a large quantity on the barbecue plate until blackened;
Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and leave for 30 minutes or until cool.
2. When cool enough to handle remove the skins from the capsicums (keep any of the juice as well). Cut lengthways into 2cm thick strips, placing them in a bowl with the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
3. Place vinegar in a fry pan, heat until 85C (a little below boiling point) add the capsicum and garlic a few pieces at a time and stir for about 5 minutes to acidify the mixture, remove the capsicum and garlic with tongs straight to sterilised jars.
4. Heat the oil and pour in enough to cover the capsicum; Use a chopstick to move the capsicum around and remove the air bubbles, seal while hot. When cool refrigerate. Can be stored for up to one month in the fridge. If they are going to be kept for longer they need to be “canned” (heat preserved) or as I do – they just go into the freezer in the jar or zip lock bag.