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AKA Pickled Stuffed Cherry Hot Peppers!  Thumbnail imageThe final resultCherry peppers are about 2 inches wide and long with a medium-hot flavor that is just perfect for pickling or stuffing with cheese, tuna, or olives as a "hot" appetizer.  They also make for an excellent garnish on a dish.

They shouldn’t be thought of as merely good for pickling or for decoration, since they are quite tasty. While pickling is certainly a viable way to treat cherry peppers, consider slicing them in halves for green or pasta salads. You can use either pickled or fresh peppers for this purpose. They’re also excellent added to three bean salads, on top of pizza, or in sweet and sour dishes.

But of all the ways they can be prepared and served, my favourite one is to stuff them and put them in jars in olive oil.   I usually prepare them in september and make sure I have enough peppers until after Christmas.   Ready made jars that you can find in sophisticated food stores are very expensive, so I always prepare my own cherry hots.  It’s quite simple.

How to make them

what you need
Fresh cherry hot peppers 3kg
Sardines (or anchovies)  
Green and/or black olives  
Tuna fish  
Olive oil  
White vinegar 1l

The the ingredients are not easy to quantify, what I can say is that I usually buy 3kg of peppers, which is enough to fill about a dozen of small jars.

The procedure is composed of 3 steps:

  • preparing the peppers
  • preparing components for the stuffing
  • stuffing the peppers

At the end of the first step you will need to leave the peppers rest for a while, which will give you time to proceed with the following step, and then the final one.

Wash the peppers and put them in a salad bowl

Washed and carved

Cut the green part out, leaving a hole on the top of the pepper
Dig in the pepper with the handle of a tea spoon, taking all the (hot!!!) inner part and seeds out.   Leave some seeds so that the peppers will not completely lose their hot nature
If you have sensitive skin, I suggest you do this wearing a pair of rubber gloves.

A single pepper properly carved.
Notice the hot stuff that was inside

Boil the vinegar with another 1l of water
Put the peppers in the pot and leave them there for no more than 20 seconds.  It's important to not pass this time because otherwise they will get soft, losing the cripsy/crunchy feeling that is important for the final result.  If you really like the taste of vinegar (I don't), you can risk and leaving the peppers soak in the pot for 30 seconds, or use red vinegar instead of white one  
Once out of the pot, strain the peppers very well.  Note that some of them will have water inside, therefore shake them well and quickly put them upside down on a cloth  
Leave the peppers rest on the cloth for a few hours, until they are completely cold  


What you need is the tuna in can and the capers.  And of course a "minipimer"
Put the ingredients in the container : all the tuna fish and a couple of dozens capers.  You can add some pieces of sardines too, if you like them particularly

Blend the ingredients until they turn into a cream.   Make sure you don't taste it because it's particularly good on crackers or toasted bread...

Keep the container at hand for the next phase

Prepare all the needed ingredients for the stuffing, get all the things ready and at hand.  Olives, sardines, capers and the tuna paste you prepared

Start with half tea spoon of tuna paste in the pepper, then insert a caper, a small piece of sardine and finally the olive.  You can fill the hole with some other tuna paste.

Use green and black olives.  You can stuff one pepper with a green olive and the next pepper with a black one

Put the stuffed pepper in a glass jar and proceed with the next pepper
Press the pepper a little bit, to make the most of them fit in the jar, but don't break them in the process.   Position them so that the open part with the olive is visible through the glass; it will look nicer
Fill the jar to the top with olive oil.  Use a good quality oil becasue once you'll have eaten the peppers, the oil will be very good for the topping of a tasty dish of pasta.  Some people add a clove of garlic (I don't because if the garlic is not good or if it deteriorates, it can spoil the whole content of the jar).   It's not necessary to seal the jars, just make sure the peppers at the top are compeltely covered with oil and close the jars well

Fill different sizes of jars, because once a jar is opened, it's usually better to eat all the peppers in a few days max.

After filling the jars, put them in a cool place, the fridge is perfect.  The day after the filling shake them/turn them upside down a couple of times, to make any possible air bubble come to the surface, then open the jars and check that the top peppers are covered with the oil.  If needed, add some oil and close the jar again well

Prepared in this way, the jars can sit in the fridge (or cellar) even for a few months.   You can open the jars and check them every now and then, becasue if you see some mould inside, then it's better to check the situation... It should not happen, if you're careful getting rid of the ari bubbles and fill the jar well, but in case you find some mould inside you might have to dump the whole jar...

How to serve them

Out of the jar, directly in your mouth, together with bread, crackers, whatever you want.  They are also served with boiled meat as a side dish but to me they are too noble to be a side dish....

Good llick opps good luck !

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