Red capsicums were FINALLY cheap a couple of weeks ago. Basically, for the whole year we would have to pay $2/capsicum (bell pepper) if we wanted them… which we did, just not that much.
So, we stocked up. We got about 20 red capsicums for $5. Bargain! But what were we going to do with those capsicums? We couldn’t eat them all at once. Well, we could have and that would have put us off them until they were cheap again this time next year but we wanted a steady supply of red capsicum flavour throughout the year.
I looked up how to preserve red capsicums, and instead of roasting them first (Ev – okay, I admit that might have been a better idea but we don’t learn without mistakes, do we?) I decided to blanch them and then pressure-can them, following the instructions I gave for preserving non-acidic foods.
So, I left the skins on and washed them thoroughly, de-seeded them and cut them into 4×4 cm strips. After blanching them for 3 minutes, as per the recipe from a canning-specific book, I processed them and then a week later tried the results. The taste was there but the capsicum flesh had turned to mush – I suppose because it was cooked for 30 minutes while it was processing. It wasn’t what we wanted at all. So, I had to decide what to do with all the capsicum we had, about 10 jars.
- Red and green capsicums (bell peppers) are safe in 1 cup serves.
- Garlic is high in the FODMAP fructans, so if you cannot tolerate it, please replace it with garlic infused olive oil.
- Tomatoes are low FODMAP in the amounts included.
- The spices included are low FODMAP in those amounts.
Spiced Capsicum Spread/Sauce/Dip
Makes 8 x 240 ml/half pint jars; a serving is approx 60 ml or 1/4 cup.
- 8 cups of pureed red capsicum (about 20 capsicums)
- 3-4 roma tomatoes
- 6 cloves of garlic/1 tbsp. garlic infused oil
- 2 tbsp. sea salt
- 2 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. paprika
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
De-seed and roughly chop your capsicums. Cook in boiling water for 7-8 minutes, until quite soft. Strain and then puree them in your blender/food processor until smooth; you may require a little extra liquid. If you want to remove the capsicum skins, slice shallow slits down their sides and remove from boiling water after 2 minutes to peel of skins, then replace and continue cooking til soft.
Slice shallow slits, length-wise, down your tomatoes and them blanch for 1-2 minutes. Run under cold water to cool down and then peel off the skins. Puree the tomatoes in your blender, along with the cloves of garlic or garlic infused oil.
Finally, combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for 20 or so minutes to reduce, you can leave it longer if you want a thicker sauce, or less time if you want it thinner.
From here on, you will need instructions on how to preserve non-acidic foods.
Using a wide-mouthed funnel, pour the sauce into your awaiting, sterilised jars, leaving 2 cm of air at the top. Wipe the rims and place on the lids/rings or just the lids if you are re-using old jars – just make sure they still have rubber sealant inside the lids.
Process for 30 minutes at 10 psi and then let the pressure come down completely before you remove the lid, following the instructions linked above to let the jars cool before removal. After 12 hours/over-night, test the seals with the magnet and re-process/refrigerate any that do not pass.
This is great as a dip if thickened, a condiment on sandwiches, or used in a pasta sauce. According to Ev, I accidentally made a Russian condiment called “Adjik” (no idea about the spelling). All I would have needed was to include some spicier chilies in there to give it a little heat. Which I might try next time; sounds delish.