Quick pickled peppers over goat cheese with honey

Last weekend I quick pickled peppers at the farmers’ market since our central Texas farmers have a bounty of sweet peppers lately. Tis the season for entertaining so I served these quick pickles over goat cheese and then drizzled the dish with honey, a perfect appetizer or bright sunny snack on a winter’s day.

Quick pickling just means speeding up the process of regular osmosis infusing. Grinding your spices, cutting up the produce into smaller pieces than you would normally pickle, and simmering the produce and spices together all contribute to making these pickles tasty faster than the typical 1-3 weeks for refrigerator or canned pickles with whole spices.

Quick Pickled Peppers

yields 1 quart

1. Seed and cut 1-lb of sweet (or hot if you prefer them) peppers into thin strips that are about 2″ long.

2. Combine your brine in a large saucepan and put over medium low heat:

1.5 cups white vinegar

1 cup filtered water

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tbs kosher salt

1 tsp ground turmeric

When the sugar and salt dissolve, raise the heat to medium high.

3. With a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind the following whole spices into a powder and add them to the brine:

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1/2 tsp dill seeds (not dill weed!)

1/2 tsp celery seeds

1/2 tsp black peppercorns

After all spices are in, reduce heat and simmer brine uncovered for 10 minutes.

4. Add prepared peppers to brine and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a quart sized mason jar or equivalent sizes of smaller jars. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months. For best flavor eat within 1-2 weeks.

To make the appetizer:

Dice cooled pickled peppers and spoon them over your favorite goat cheese. Drizzle honey over the entire thing and serve with crackers. Sub any canned pickled peppers for the quick pickled ones if peppers are not in season where you live.