Lots of Pepper Jam

Lots of Pepper Jam

We love this pepper jam. It is so adaptable! Mix it with greek yogurt or sour cream and serve with chips, or pour over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers as an appetizer. 

GREAT GIFT IDEA:   Pair Pepper Jam with a small decorative dish, cheese spreader, and crackers.

Recipe from Gifts from the Harvest, Homemade Jams and Jellies from the makers of Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin and Certo Liquid Fruit Pectin

Serves: Makes approximately 6 one-cup jars

  • 4 cups prepared peppers (3 medium red peppers, 2 medium green peppers, and 10 large jalapeno peppers)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar 
  • 1 box Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin
  • 1/2 tsp butter
Apple Orchard
  1. Stem and halve red peppers; discard seeds. Finely chop or grind peppers. Measure 2 cups into a 6 or 8-quart saucepot. Stem and halve green peppers; discard seeds. Finely chop or grind. Measure 1 cup into the saucepot. Stem and halve jalapeno peppers (be sure to wear rubber gloves to avoid the burn from capsaicin); discard seeds. Finely chop or grind. Measure 1 cup into the saucepot. Stir in vinegar.
  2. Prepare jars (see note). Keep the lids hot until ready to fill jars.
  3. Measure sugar into a separate bowl. Stir in fruit pectin into peppers in the saucepot. Add butter. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in all the sugar. Return to a full rolling boil and boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
  4. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. *Invert jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright. Cool for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, then shake jars to distribute peppers evenly throughout the relish. After the jars are cooled completely, check the seals.

*Or follow the water bath method recommended by USDA.

Note: Preparing the Jars

Wash jars, lids, and bands thoroughly before you begin so they will be ready when the jam is ready to pour. Place flat lids in a saucepan. Pour boiling water over the lids. Let stand in hot water until ready to fill jars. The hot water will soften the rubber and help to create a seal. Always use new, flat jar lids, as they should not be reused. Drain jars and lids from the water well before filling them with jam.

Chef Yvonne Dwyer

Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

Mediterranean Pinwheels

Mediterranean Pinwheels

Mediterranean Pinwheels are an easy-to-make and delicious appetizer. Serve them at home or take them to your next potluck party.

Serves: 8


6 large tortillas (spinach or sun-dried tomato flavored preferred)

8 oz cream cheese

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

2 tbs fresh or pre-minced garlic

6 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped and oil reserved

10-12 oz frozen spinach, cooked, water squeezed out, and chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles

1 cup fresh basil leaves

Mediterranean Pinwheel Ingredients

    1. First make the cream cheese mixture:  Add cream cheese, garlic, 3-4 sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper, 5-6 basil leaves, and 2 tbs oil from the sun-dried tomatoes jar to the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Blend for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides and blend 10-15 more seconds or until completely combined.  Set aside.

    2. Set out 6 tortillas.

    3. Assemble:  On each tortilla, spread a thin layer of the cream cheese mixture, chopped spinach, chopped sun-dried, 1 tsp parmesan cheese, and 1-2 tsp feta cheese. Make a line from end to end of the fresh basil leaves.

    4. Starting from an outer edge parallel to the basil row, roll tightly while gently squeezing to keep the roll together.  Repeat for all tortillas.

    5. Using a serrated knife, cut each roll into 1-inch pinwheels.  Repeat for all tortillas.

    6. Cover and refrigerate until serving.  Enjoy!

    Chef Harriet Cook

    OPL Good Life Analyst Harriet Cook shares a favorite recipe.

    Learn more about Harriet.

    OPL Plant-rich Recipes

    Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

    Sicilian Caponata Appetizer

    Sicilian Caponata Appetizer

    This sicilian caponata appetizer is so delicious especially when created from fresh garden vegetables at the end of the growing season.  I like to make extra and freeze it in batches to have as an appetizer throughout the winter when I am really craving the taste of the freshness of summer.  This appetizer can be served hot as a vegetable side dish; or cool to room temperature and served as a relish or on an antipasto/charcuterie tray. Recipe adapted from Italian Cooking Class Cookbook by Beekman House.

    Serves:  Makes about 5 cups; 8-10 servings.



    • 1 1/2 pounds (675g) eggplant (about 1 large or 2 small)
    • 1 tablespoon (15ml) salt
    • 2 large red bell peppers
    • 1 large onion
    • 1 large stalk celery
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 to 1ml) dried hot red pepper flakes
    • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces or 415g) whole peeled tomatoes or fresh tomatoes with skins removed* (see recipe below for an easy way to remove tomato peels)
    • 1-2 large garlic cloves
    • 2 tablespoons (30ml) red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon (15ml) sugar
    • 8 Italian or Greek style black olives
    • 1 tablespoon (15ml) drained capers
    Sicilian Caponata Ingredients
    1. Rinse eggplant; cut into 3/4 inch (2cm) cubes.  Place in a large colander; sprinkle with salt and toss.  Let stand and drain in the sink or bowl, tossing occasionally, 1 hour
    2. Rinse eggplant and drain well; squeeze in a clean kitchen towel to extract moisture. Reserve.
    3. Core and seed bell peppers; cut into 3/4 inch (2cm) chunks.  Chop onion coarsely.  Cut celery diagonally into 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) thick slices.
    4. Heat oil in a 10-inch (25 cm) non-corrosive skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bell peppers, onion, celery, and pepper flakes; sauté 5 minutes.  Add reserved eggplant, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes longer.  Remove from heat.
    5. Press tomatoes and their liquid through a sieve into vegetables in a skillet;
    6. discard seeds.  Mince garlic; add garlic to skillet.  Stir in vinegar and sugar.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.
    7. Pit and chop olives.  Add olives and capers to the skillet.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally; until most of the liquid has evaporated and sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes.

    *How to Peel Fresh tomatoes

    I like to focus my plant-based eating habits on what is in season and what is grown locally. When I have time at the end of the growing season, I will preserve through canning or freezing the fruits and vegetables that I love the most which I can enjoy in other seasons.  Currently there are so many varieties of tomatoes available. In the recipe provided above, I chose to use freshly peeled tomatoes.  There have been times when I do not peel the tomatoes however; it does make for creamier sauces to take the shortened amount of time to do so.  If you decide to peel the tomatoes and not add them to your compost you can dry them in the oven and then pulse them in a mini food processor for a delicious tomato sprinkle which can be added to your favorite recipes.

    Total Prep and Cook time: 11 minutes cook time

    Cooking tools required; a cutting board, a large bowl for cut tomatoes, a large bowl of ice water, and 3-6 quart pot for processing the tomatoes.


    1. Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil while you prepare the tomatoes.
    2. Turn tomatoes over to the bottom and, using a paring knife, cut a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato. Core tomatoes, if you like.
    3. Carefully lower tomatoes into the boiling water, in batches. Remove after about 30 seconds, once skins start to crack.  Be careful to not boil too long, otherwise the tomatoes will start to cook and get too soft to handle easily.
    4. Immediately put tomatoes into the bowl of ice water.  Heating and then shocking the tomatoes in this way makes the skins peel right off!
    5. Once tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel skins from tomatoes and use in your favorite recipe.
    Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

    OPL Plant-rich Recipes

    Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

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