Now that the summer is in full swing beautiful vegetables like peppers, aubergines and courgettes are in season. They won’t stay that way forever but you can preserve their summer goodness in jars and keep it for these winter months. Of course you can just preserve vegetables on their own but you can also save yourself cooking time later by producing a delightful sweet and sour sauce and use it on rice or rice and chicken in the winter.
5 bell peppers
1 small aubergine
1 cup tomato puree
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp dried paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp salt
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 cup sugar
Cube the vegetables into small 1cm pieces. Place in a bowl, add salt, stir and set in the fridge overnight.
On the next day put the vegetables in a colander or sieve and let the juices drain. You will not be using the juices.
Place the vegetables in a pot and start cooking them. Cook for 20 minutes and in the meantime put sugar, water and vinegar in a separate pot, stir and heat until sugar has dissolved.
Add all the spices and tomato puree to the veggies, follow with the vinegar mixture. Mix everything and let it continue to cook while you’re prepping the jars.
Preheat your oven to 100C/210F and put four 0.5l/pint jars in the oven without lids for 10 minutes. I cannot guarantee that this mixture will yield exactly 2l/4pints so it might be a good idea to add another, smaller jar or be prepared to eat the remaining sauce within the next couple of days. Take the lids, place in a bowl and cover them with hot water from the kettle.
I use jars that I have kept after pickles, jams etc., and I don’t own any fancy canning equipment so this recipe is not calling for any.
When the jars are ready take them out and using kitchen mittens spoon the boiling hot sauce into hot jars and tightly close the lids.
Place the jars on the counter. In an hour or so you will hear popping sounds as the lids will start sealing. All of them should be sealed and you can check by pressing on the middle of the lid to see if it is concave.
You can keep sealed jars in the pantry until you’re ready to eat the sauce in the autumn or winter.
And smile because you’re done and you have some delicious food for the cold months! 😀
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