In case you didn’t know it, I’m huge on Pinterest! Okay, well, my Pickled Hot Cherry Peppers recipe is huge, anyway. One of the things I miss most about living in Connecticut is being able to find both fresh and pickled cherry peppers at the store. Stuffing pickled cherry peppers with provolone and prosciutto is popular out east, but the ones I’ve come across here in Northern Illinois are all made with raw peppers, which is not very appetizing at all.
Not being able to find these beauties forced me to start growing, pickling and stuffing them myself. This isn’t really a bad thing, as it’s made me pretty damn popular at the holidays. It may sound like an odd combination but trust me that they’re delicious.
If you’re lucky enough to be able to buy cherry peppers at your local store or market, I have just the appetizer for you! The pickling part is super easy, even when canning and processing them to put up. All you need is fresh cherry peppers white vinegar and water.
Pickling the peppers:
You don’t have to can these, though. You can pickle them and put them in the fridge, as long as you have the space. When I don’t process these for preserving, I call it “quick pickling”.
Prepare the peppers by washing them and cutting the stems off. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make a small slice into the pepper at the top of it, around the stem area. I like to do this to assure the hot juice is released from inside the peppers. Now you’re ready to pickle them.
- 6 cups white vinegar
- 2 cups water
- 2 1/2 pounds hot cherry peppers (red or green both work!) washed. Using a sharp knife tip, make a small slit in the top (stem end) of each pepper
In al large saucepan, bring the vinegar and water to a boil. Add peppers, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool and transfer peppers to a glass jar or container and then cover completely with vinegar/water brine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Here’s an extreme stuffed red cherry pepper close-up shot:
Stuffing the peppers:
Be sure to reserve the pickling juice for storing and serving. To prepare the peppers for stuffing, use a sharp knife to cut the top off of the peppers. Then, using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard them.
For the stuffing, take a chunk of provolone and cut it into cubes The actual size of the cubes may need to vary, depending on the size of the peppers. Cut strips of prosciutto in half lengthwise, Wrap a cube of provolone with a piece of prosciutto and stuff the wrapped cube into a hollowed-out pepper. Set the stuffed pepper into a shallow dish and repeat until all of the peppers you have are stuffed.
Using the reserved pickling juice, fill the dish of peppers until the level is about half way up the peppers. Cover dish and refrigerate until ready to serve, preferably within a few hours.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing these, you’re missing out. It may sound like a strange combination but the heat of the peppers, the tang of the vinegar, the smooth creaminess of the provolone and the salty earthiness of the prosciutto is a fabulous collaboration. I typically make these at the holidays and for get-togethers and they are always, always the first thing to disappear.