We’re having some sort of Indian Summer here in Amsterdam, with temperatures between 25-30ºC, quiet rare for this time of the year. The chili peppers on our roof terrace however are delighted with this weather and keep producing an abundance of beautiful bright red chilis. There are many ways to use them fresh, but preserving them makes it okay to not use them all right away.
Preserving peppers can be done in several different ways. But we found that the easiest way is to dry them out. You can dry them in the oven or on a sheet in the sun, or you can hang them on a string like we did, a chili ristra. A chili ristra is great because it doubles as a drying process and as a decorative piece in the kitchen.
The drying process takes a few weeks weeks, but once they’re ready the possibilities are endless. We keep them in a glass jar and use them the entire winter. You can grind them into powder, use the flakes of the peppers, and after soaking them in water for 10 minutes you can pound them in a paste so you can use them immediately instead of fresh peppers, or to make Thai curry pastes, Indonesian sambals, chili sauce or harissa.