Lucina’s Miniature Stuffed Peppers

Miniature Bell Peppers

SSE member Lucina Cress once told Diane Ott Whealy, “An elderly lady grew these peppers in Ohio and passed them on to me. The chocolate is still my favorite, always so mild and sweet and all the plants would produce early and kept coming on till frost.” Lucina had been making the stuffed peppers for more than a decade. “I think I first listed the pepper seed in the 1981 Seed Savers Exchange [Yearbook]. I always offered to send the recipe for stuffing and canning with the pepper seed. Each year our branch of the hospital auxiliary stuffed miniature peppers for the hospital bazaar. We canned over seven hundred jars some years and we were sold out by 11 a.m.”

Lucina’s recipe for her Miniature Stuffed Peppers:

Pickled Mini Bell Peppers

Shred cabbage fine (SSE staff recommend the Early Jersey Wakefield cabbage’). For each 3 quarts of cabbage, add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and let stand for 20 minutes.

While the cabbage is soaking, wash enough of Lucina’s Miniature Bell peppers of all colors to make 15 pints. Cut a small opening on top and take out the seeds. (I always save the seeds to offer in the Yearbook and hope everyone else does too!)

Squeeze the liquid off cabbage and discard.

Add to cabbage:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 2/3 cup vinegar
  • 2/3 cup sugar

Mix cabbage and stuff inside the peppers. Place in jars. Boil together:

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water

Pour over peppers in jars and seal. Process in hot water bath for 15 minutes.

Order seeds for Miniature Chocolate, Miniature Red, and Miniature Yellow Bell Peppers in our online store!

Taken from SSE co-founder Diane Ott Whealy’s new book, Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver.

Our mission is to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.

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  1. Eloise C. Kerr says:

    can anyone offer any advice on how to harvest cabbage seeds? when mine didnt yield any last year, i read that they have to grow 2 seasons before they produce seed. up north here (northern NY) the season is too short for that. it was suggested to pull the cabbage up with its root, and store it in a cold root cellar then replant the next warm season. i believe my saved cabbages went bad in the root cellar as they look and smell terribly. in fact i’m pretty sure they’re ‘dead’. how does everyone else save get and save cabbage seeds?

    • Christy says:

      Hello Eloise!
      Saving cabbage is tricky – but it can be done! Cabbage is a biennial, which means it needs two growing seasons, or a period of vernalization (cold season treatment), to produce seeds. In places with shorter seasons, this means growing the cabbage in the first year, then digging up the plant (root ball and all), storing it in a cool root cellar over the winter, then replanting the following spring. If all goes well, the cabbage will produce flowers and seed.
      If you had trouble with winter storage, I have a few questions that may help resolve the problem. First, did you dig up the cabbage and replant in a pot with some soil, compost, or wood chips? This keeps things moist and from drying out and dying. Second, did you cut any of the leafy cabbage off? It is recommended that one remove a good portion of the cabbage (which you can eat!) before storage – making sure not to cut off the heart. You can store with the whole cabbage head, but make sure to cut an X on the top to allow the flower stock to emerge. Third, what temperature is your cold root cellar kept at? It’s best to be cold, but not at freezing, to protect the plants. And finally, how many cabbages are you hoping to save seed from? Cabbages are incompatible out breeders, which means you need a lot of cabbage plants to get good seed.
      If you have any other questions, feel free to reply or email me directly!