My Garden: Bell Peppers

I canned the last of my garden vegetables last weekend.  Tomatoes were one item that I was concerned about canning due to their level of acidity.  I read many websites and talked to local gardeners that use water bath canning.  It turned out that adding 2 tsps of lemon juice to the pint of stewed tomatoes will increase the acidity and decrease the chances of spoiled food.  I also learned that I needed to boil for 50 minutes in the jar.  These tips helped me jar the rest of my ripe tomatoes.  There are still green ones on the counter and I will wait for them to ripen before eating or processing.

I also had bell peppers from my garden.  There were too many to eat so I took out a recipe that I saved from Bon Appétit magazine for bell pepper relish.  It is more pickled than what New Mexicans think of as a relish, but I like to have some more mild sauces in my pantry as well.  Here is the recipe.  It will be great on meats, sandwiches or with crackers.

Bell Pepper Relish

From Bon Appétit Magazine

  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled
  • Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Boil over medium-high heat until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Cool, cover and refrigerate. (Can be prepared 2 weeks ahead. Keep refrigerated.)
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