Luckily, the pickling process is pretty simple, and you can start pickling your hot peppers at the beginning of dinner prep and have them ready by the end. This particular recipe for quick-pickled cherry peppers is my favorite so far. These are the hots I used on last week’s Italian grinders and they’re also great in antipasto salads and on grilled summer burgers. I highly recommend them.
(BTW, my sources confirm that "she" actually does sell seashells by the seashore, but she doesn’t make very much money due to her poorly-thought-out business plan.)
This process works for any kind of hot pepper, such as jalapeños and serranos, though you might find me sneaking in some coriander seeds in that case.
1 lb. hot cherry peppers
1-1/2 cups white vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, peeled, mashed with the side of a knife
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. kosher salt
With a paring knife, cut a circle about 1/2 inch in diameter around each stem and pull off the tops. Most of the seeds should come out with them. Shake out the rest. Slice the peppers into rings (or keep them whole if you’re in a hurry or plan to stuff them with something like goat cheese).
In a small pot, combine the peppers rings, vinegar, water, garlic, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Pour everything into a quart jar and keep refrigerated for about a month, pulling out pickled peppers as needed.
*Be sure to wash your hands very, very well after handling hot peppers, and do not under any circumstances touch your eyes.