We left last Summer’s capsicum plants in the vegetable garden over Winter, they looked like dead sticks in the ground but thanks to some extra space I decided to monitor them and see if they would survive. I was curious about the impact on the fruit the following season. Once the following Summer came around the plants sprouted new leaves and growth and in no time had copious amounts of fruit on them, much more than the previous Summer crop and much sooner.
I am not sure how many years running the plants can be left in the ground over the Winter period like this but we do a similar thing with our Chilli plants and have one that has been going for more than 5 years now. Given that chilli and capsicum are part of the same family, I will leave them in again this year to see how they go next Summer. You can find my tips for growing capsicum here. Our Winter is moderate so the plants were fine, I do not recommend trying this if you experience harsh Winters where you live.
I made recipe for roast capsicum sauce from green peppers, however, you could use red peppers if you wish. It is a very simple recipe, a lovely way to use excess garden produce and create a versatile condiment the whole family will enjoy. Roasting the vegetables first adds a depth of flavor to the sauce. We have been enjoying this sauce on pizza bases, with homemade pasties and generally instead of store purchased tomato sauce.
- 500 grams capsicum - cut into quarters, core removed
- 250 grams eggplant (small) - cubed
- 500 grams tomatoes
- drizzle olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic - chopped finely
- handful of fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 220 ml apple cider vinegar
- 12 grinds black pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- pinch dried chilli flakes
- 200 ml water
- Set the oven to 170 degrees celcius to heat
- Bake the capsicum, eggplant and tomatoes in a dish in the heated oven for 25 minutes
- Remove the vegetables from the oven and add to a pot on the stove with the remaining ingredients.
- Stir over the heat until the sugar dissolves
- Once the ingredients come to the boil, simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes
- Blend with a stick blender to create a smooth consistency
- Pot into still hot, steralized jars or bottles
- Once the jars have cooled enough to handle, place the jars into a large saucepan of water filled with water so that it is up to the neck of the jars. Bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 15 minutes then remove the jars from the pot with tongs and allow to cool
- Store open jars in the fridge and eat within a few months.
- Any excess may be also be frozen for use at a later time eg: as the sauce for the base of pizza
*As with any food that is stored for a period of time check for any signs of spoilage prior to eating and discard immediately if required.
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