Catherine Winter-Hébert

DIY Gift Idea: Make 10 Epicurean Vegan Treats in Beautiful Recycled Glass Jars

Red Pepper Relish

Pickled Pepper Relish

This goes spectacularly well with baked vegan almond feta “cheese” spread, especially on crisp crackers.

  • 4 sweet red peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, seeded and chopped chopped
  • 1 mild poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 medium vidalia onions, chopped
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Step 1:

Put all peppers and onion through a food processor until ground quite finely.

Step 2:

Scoop pepper-onion mixture into a saucepan with the 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain. Keep in the saucepan, but set aside.

Step 3:

In a separate saucepan, dissolve your sugar in the vinegar on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, then add the salt. Stir to make sure that everything has dissolved evenly, and then pour that over the pepper-onion mixture.

Step 4:

Put that saucepan full of peppery deliciousness over med-high heat and bring back up to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the liquid has reduced. Set aside to cool, and then transfer to your jars.

Onion Garlic Jam

Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic Jam

  • 1 head of garlic, roasted (Here’s a good how-to guide for roasting garlic.)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 large Vidalia (or other sweet) onions, diced or slivered
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 cup sugar (I use turbinado, but coconut sugar, or refined sugar would work well for this. If you prefer to use agave syrup or honey, just reduce the mixture on low heat for a bit longer during the last step so the extra liquid evaporates.)
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar (dark or light)
  • Sea salt

Step 1:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot until it starts to dance. Add the onions and turn the heat down to medium, and stir occasionally until the onions turn a lovely golden brown. This can take a while, but be patient! Properly caramelized onions are things of beauty.

Step 2: 

Pop the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins, and mash them into a fine paste. I do this with a mortar and pestle, but you can do so with a fork or food processor as well.

Step 3:

Tie the herbs together with some kitchen twine or cotton string to make a bouquet garni, and add that to the onion mixture and stir it around until they release their fragrance. Sprinkle the sugar evenly all over the onions, but don’t stir! Allow the sugar to dissolve, and slowly increase the heat until a rich brown caramel begins to form. This should take approximately 10 minutes, but judge by appearance, rather than the clock.

Step 4:

Pull out the herb bouquet and set it aside to be composted. Add the balsamic vinegar and mashed garlic puree, and stir gently and regularly over low heat until the jam thickens, then remove from heat, season it with salt to taste, and set aside to cool. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, scoop it into clean glass jars, and refrigerate. Lick any spoons or other utensils that may still have remnants of jam on them.

This is best served at room temperature, but you might like to experiment with different temperatures just to make sure which you like best.

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