It’s the end of October but even though I’m wearing a wooly hat indoors to chase the chill I can still find bags of peppers (both sweet and hot) at my favorite stand at the farmers’ market. And so, like a fat squirrel foraging for winter, I continue to stuff my pack with pecks of peppers. So much hot sauce, harissa, and pickles, pickles, pickles. To my delight and surprise in addition to the variety bags there were two pounders filled with cherry bombs. Like poblanos, cherry bombs vary in heat, you never know how much tickle or tingle you are going to get after that first burst of pepper flavor. That’s part of the fun.
The homemade version are a little hotter (you could remove the seeds and pith before pickling to make a milder version) and a little less sweet than the trader joe’s variety I usually buy.
You can make these as a refrigerator pickle or cut the initial cook time to just a few minutes and “can” them instead. I sterilize my jars for both but I also use my refrigerator pickles waaayyyy past the “keeps up to six weeks” recommendation on most recipes. That said, once I crack the jar it rarely takes longer than a week to empty it.
Why? Because I stuff them with soft cheese and put them on snack boards, or slice them for a flavorful garnish with crackers and cheese. They compliment dill pickles on burgers or sandwiches and are awesome in all the salads (green, potato, tuna, pasta, egg).
These sweet hot cherry bomb peppers refrigerator pickles are a slight variation on the kitchn’s “quick pickled cherry peppers” you can make further variations on the theme by adding peppercorns, or red onion (makes a pretty purple hued brine and the onions also work well on charcuterie platters).
- 12 cherry peppers
- 2 cups vinegar- white vinegar is fine, I’ve also used white wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar
- 2-5 cloves garlic, sliced or whole
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 teaspoons sugar (like the garlic, this is largely a matter of personal preference. I used less, you can use more)
- Wash the cherry peppers throughly and trim the stems to a nubbin
- Poke a few holes around the tops of the peppers with a sharp knife.
- Add peppers and remaining ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the peppers are slightly softened.
- Transfer peppers and brine to a sterilized canning jar, seal and refrigerate.
- The peppers can be eaten once cool but are best given a few days or store for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.