RED BANK: PEPPERS, PICKLED AND PACKED

marc dostie 100316Stuffing 50 or so pickled cherry peppers with proscuitto and provolone goes faster with an assist from helpful neighbor Marc Dostie. Photo by Jim Willis. Click to enlarge)

By JIM WILLIS

morsels mediumWe’ve had our crop of cherry peppers from the backyard garden pickling in the refrigerator for a couple weeks now, and decided that it was high time we stuffed them with something to make them even more delicious.

Prosciutto-and-provolone-stuffed cherry peppers sounded like a good idea.

We’d never made these before, so we sought advice and provisions from Red Bank’s DiBartolo’s Quick Stop Food & Paper and Citarella’s Market.

We didn’t want to break the bank with this project, so we picked up a good-sized piece of sharp provolone from DiBartolo’s for $6.95 a pound. Jimmy DiBartolo also gave PieHole some guidance on oil to use for our project, suggesting we try an olive pomace oil that he had priced at $10 for three liters.

On the way home, we stopped off at Citarella’s for a few slices of prosciutto, and put out a call to our neighborhood group on Facebook to see if anyone was around to help. In under an hour, with some help from neighbor Marc Dostie, we had an enormous bowl of stuffed cherry peppers marinating in oil.

Aside from the disconcerting reports to the effect that pomace oil contains some scary chemicals, once the peppers had marinated for a few hours, they were absolutely perfect: a good bit of heat, the  acid and crunch from the pickling balanced just right with the sharp provolone and prosciutto.