I received one OXO GreenSaver Produce Keeper and two bags of Melissa’s Produce Veggie Sweet Mini Peppers for this test drive. Thank you, OXO and Melissa’s!
Food waste is a huge issue in this country. My cousin sent me an infographic a few years ago that showed, among other statistics, that Americans throw away four pounds of cheese each per year. I was so appalled by that statistic that I began what I called my Four Pounds of Cheese project in which I shared photos of our food waste every day for a week. I encouraged others to do the same and even started a facebook group called the Four Pounds of Cheese Project where members could share tips about reducing food waste, creative ideas for using leftovers and making “fridge clean out meals,” and even how to regrow and plant celery and other vegetables. I’m a bit ashamed to say I haven’t kept up with that group the way I should, but regardless of my staying on top of that group, I still feel very strongly about keeping our food waste to an absolute minimum. When OXO contacted me about trying out their new line of OXO GreenSaver containers that help extend the life of vegetables in the fridge to prevent waste, I knew it would be a good fit.
OXO sent me a GreenSaver Bin and Melissa’s Produce shipped me some lovely, sweet tri-color peppers to store in it. I purposely left them alone much longer than I normally would and then compared the peppers in the bin with a couple peppers I held back in the bag they came in. After eleven days–eleven!!–in the fridge, the verdict is pretty clear:
I am impressed.
So, how do they work? Fruits and vegetables go into an insert made of a hard plastic mesh that sits inside the slightly larger bin. This smaller “open air” bin allows air to circulate all around your stored produce. Since the inner bin is elevated a bit, any condensation drips down into the bottom of the bin keeping your fruits and vegetables nice and dry.
There’s also a charcoal filter that sits in the bin’s lid whose job is not only to contain any odors from the produce itself but also to absorb the ethylene gas that produce emits. When ethylene gas builds up in a container, it causes the ripening process to go into overdrive resulting in rotting. The charcoal filters are made from coconut husks. Since coconut husks are all natural and non-toxic, they are ideal for use around food.
As we all know, different foods need to be stored in different levels of humidity to help them last their best. The GreenSaver lids come equipped with a sliding vent cover which you can set to provide the right level of humidity to keep your produce crisp and beautiful for days. There’s a pictograph on the underside of the vent cover that shows you the proper position for each of several fruits and vegetables. For a complete listing of produce and humidity requirements, as well as more in-depth information about GreenSavers, visit OXO’s GreenSaver page.
After my little pepper experiment, I have to say that I’m sold. What I may spend in purchasing a few different shapes and sizes of OXO GreenSavers, I should be able to make up for in much less food waste.
I had a couple of ideas for how to use my peppers, but I kept coming back to pickled peppers. I figured that I could enhance the sweetness of Melissa’s Veggie Sweet Mini Peppers with a “bread and butter” type pickling liquid. Pairing these piquant little guys with creamy goat cheese required almost no thought at all. Since the peppers are a bit larger than you can eat in just one or two bites, after I pickled them, I cut each one down to between 1″ and 1 1/2″ in length. I then finely diced the excess and stirred that back into the goat cheese.
The pickling process takes at least a couple of days, so plan accordingly. Don’t let that timetable put you off, though. Hands-on time is minimal.
For the Brine
- 30 grams (about 1 oz) kosher salt
- 300 grams (1 1/4 cups) water
For the Pickling Liquid
- 187 grams (3/4 cup) vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
- 150 grams granulated sugar
- 125 grams (1/2 cup) water
- 1 small sweet onion, , chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence
- 4 whole thyme sprigs
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, , to taste (optional)
For the Herbed Goat Cheese
- 4 oz mild chevre
- pinch of kosher salt and several grindings of fresh black pepper.
- 1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence.
- minced pickled peppers, , about 1/3 cup or so (See Instructions)
- Combine the water and salt and stir a few times. Set aside.
- Wash your peppers and cut off their stem end. Carefully pull out the seeds and any white membranes. These peppers have very few seeds, so it's easy to get rid of them all.
- Stir the brining liquid again until all the salt has dissolved.
- Submerge the peppers completely in the brine. Use a small dish as a weight to keep them submerged.
- Cover and let them sit at room temperature for 8-10 hours or overnight.
- Remove the peppers from the brine. Rinse and drain. Check inside the peppers to make sure there are no whole peppercorns lurking in there. Set aside convenient to the stove.
- Combine all the pickling ingredients except the pepper flakes in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a hard boil and add the peppers and pepper flakes.
- Cook for 1-2 minutes only.
- Carefully put the peppers in a clean glass container and then pour the pickling liquid over the top. You may need to weigh the peppers down with a small plate. You want all the peppers completely submerged in the liquid.
- Let cool and refrigerate for at least 48 hours.
- When time to stuff, cut off any longer peppers so that all of the peppers are no more than 1 1/2" long. Reserve the "pickled scraps" for the filling.
For the Herbed Goat Cheese
- Mince up the reserved "pickled scraps."
- Mix all the filling ingredients together until well combined.
- Stuff each pepper with some of the goat cheese mixture. You should have just enough to completely fill your 12 peppers as long as you trimmed them all. I filled mine with a spoon, but you can also pipe the filling. Just make sure your tip has a wide enough opening that your minced peppers don't get stuck.
- Store in the fridge, covered, but let them come to room temperature before serving so the filling is soft and creamy.
I am not a canner, so I'm not sure if these are suitable for canning as written. If you'd like to preserve these for a taste of summer in the middle of winter, please find a reliable recipe from a trusted canning site. For these guys, I'd say they'll be fine in the fridge, submerged in their liquid, for 2-3 weeks. Once you stuff them, go ahead and enjoy them the same day.
Not only are these tangy pickled peppers stuffed with herbed goat cheese a bit addictive–who can resist sweet, tangy, spicy, crisp and creamy in one bite?–they’re also pretty adorable. See?!
Please do give these little appetizers a try. You won’t be sorry.
Sold on the OXO GreenSaver Produce Keeper line? Shop for them at OXO.com or on Amazon (affiliate link).
Thank you for taking the time to read today.
Have a lovely day.
PS Did you see that I have still more peppers? Look for those in an upcoming post!