I have no idea how they got into my house, but I recently discovered a jar of pickled green peppercorns in my pantry, so I decided to use them.
I’ve been reading Dangerous Tastes: the story of spices by Andrew Dalby (which is a very interesting book, BTW) and he mentions that once upon a time preserved green peppercorns were very popular in Europe, but that they’ve mostly been replaced by the dried form we’re used to. Anyway, it got me interested, so I put some in a spaghetti sauce last night, which came out quite well, I thought.
I started with some onions and garlic, then added the green peppercorns, maybe a 1/2 tablespoon or so, and healthy amounts of basil, oregano, and some fennel seeds (which I love in spaghetti). Then in went some celery. When it all cooked down, I threw in some meat balls, and a few tablespoons worth of capers. It went over pretty well with the family too. Ivan even wanted some for breakfast this morning, so it couldn’t have been too bad. I’ve been using Westbrae Natural’s whole wheat spaghetti, which has a very nice texture. Their spinach spaghetti is also really good, but Gwyn tends to freak out over the green noodles, so there are days when it’s just not worth it
So if you happen to come across some pickled pepper (not pickled peppers, mind) give them a shot. They added a very nice, mellow peppery taste without much heat.