Okay, not a peck, just a jar. Still, when Brian stripped down our one and only jalapeño plant and laid out all those bright green peppers on the kitchen counter, I was a little stumped. I had flashbacks to when my dad would proudly arrive in the kitchen carrying four or five baseball bat-sized zucchinis that had been hiding in our backyard garden. My mother would take one look at him and his harvest and order them all back outside. She wanted nothing to do with any of it. When Brian said he was looking forward to seeing what I was going to do with so many jalapeños, I was tempted to follow her example.

These peppers had been on the hot side of their variety (at least when compared with the half-rotting ones I tend to find in grocery stores), which was lovely when the harvest was coming in only a few at a time. This end-of-the-season bumper crop, however, was a little harder to wrap my mind around. We were just on our way out of town, so I pushed them all into a bag and hid them in the crisper drawer–a hot problem for another day.

Back home after a week on the road, the peppers demanded my attention. Preservation seemed the name of the game at this point, but frozen peppers never seem to work out for me (their texture is ruined by the freezing process, and I tend to forget to use them in situations where that might not matter). Having just finished the last of six jars of pickled green beans, however, this seemed a method our family was capable of putting to good use.

In addition, this week’s new-to-my-kitchen vegetable is the daikon. One of my favorite Waverly farmers was selling off bunches of them for a buck, so it seemed I had little to lose on the investment. Raw salads and slaws being low on my list as we cruise into the cooler fall temperatures, I decided pickling these was a good storage plan as well.

Pickled Jalapeño Peppers
from The Purple Foodie

330 g sliced jalapeños (I was a little shy on this weight once I’d sorted out a few bad specimens, so I just sliced and filled a sterilized pint jar and called it enough snacking heat for the household)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 T peppercorns
2 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic, lightly crushed
2 T kosher salt
1 T sugar

Wash and slice the jalapeños–carefully. Wear gloves and mind what you touch. I have had pepper-burned hands and do not recommend it (though if you do find yourself injured, pushing your fingers into some yogurt seems to help). Pack the pile of peppers (sorry, couldn’t help myself) into a sterilized jar or jars, as best suits your needs.

The Purple Foodie passes on a pickling tip in her recipe that she learned from Michael Ruhlman’s blog for determining how much liquid you’ll need in advance: once you pack the vegetables into the jar, cover with water. Pour it back off into a measuring cup. Discard half the water and replace the missing volume with your chosen vinegar for a perfectly measured 50/50 mix.

Once you have determined the amount of liquid you will need, add that and the remaining ingredients to a pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour this mixture back over the peppers, screw on the lids, and refrigerate for a few days (or as long as you can wait). This batch should keep a couple of months.

Pickled Daikon
variation on the Momofuku Vinegar Pickle base recipe

There are many cooks on the internet who are preparing a carrot/daikon pickle for banh mi sandwiches. That wasn’t really what I was after, so I decided to start with a basic rice wine pickle recipe and add my own spices.

1 bunch daikon, washed, peeled, and cut into thin sticks to fit your jar (I used a pint, and these proportions worked well.)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 T sugar
1 T kosher salt
1 tsp. vindaloo seasoning or spices of your choice

Pack the prepared daikon sticks into a sterilized pint jar. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour this mixture over the daikon, screw on the lid, and let sit in the refrigerator for a few days before using.