In a pickle

After taking Serious Eat’s advice on making sauerkraut and buying an Easy Fermenter kit, I’ve started pickling this year’s crop of Hungarian Wax Peppers. Here’s the basic recipe.

Lacto-Fermented Peppers

Prep Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 5-10 days Difficulty: Easy Servings: 1 quart 



  • Sweet peppers
  • Sea salt
  • Filtered water
  • Seasoning of choice: cumin or cayenne, peeled garlic, sliced onion; cilantro or parsley, etc.


Peppers are the sweethearts of summer. They love the heat, and add yummy flavor (and nutrition) to summer favorites like gazpacho, salsa, and stuffed peppers. They’re also full of vitamin C. But you can only eat so many of them fresh! Preserve them and make them even more nutritious (and delicious) through the process of lacto-fermentation.

Once they are fermented you can add them plain to all sorts of dishes. Any raw salad that you might add bell peppers to would welcome these simple lacto-fermented sweet peppers. Add them to a taco salad. Use them in a fresh salsa. Whip them up in an extra tangy gazpacho. Add them to a grain or bean salad. Top a bowl of beans with them along with cultured cream. Use them to top cooked Italian or other sausages. Or enjoy them straight from the jar if you’re a real pepper lover.


Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt per quart of water.

Rinse peppers with water and remove stems and cores. Cut into thin strips or 1/2 to 1-inch squares.

Place a bit of seasonings, if using, at the bottom of each jar. Fill the jar about halfway with peppers. Add in a bit more seasonings. Fill the rest of the jar with the chopped peppers, leaving 2 inches headspace.

Pour brine over peppers and seasonings until covered.

If necessary, weigh the peppers down under the brine to keep them submerged. Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.

Culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor is achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.

Once the peppers are finished, put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage.

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