Sunday, October 3, 2010

Autumn breezes, rooftop farms, pickled peppers

Today Kat and I paid a visit to Roberta's in Bushwick, a wonderful spot where you can chomp down on a variety of delicious, perfectly charred pizzas such as the Beastmaster, a genius invention topped with tomato, mozzarella, gorgonzola, Berkshire pork sausage, red onion, capers, and jalapenos. Like, whoa.

It's also a place to explore the great urban outdoors, where basil grows in bathtubs and old shipping containers house local radio stations. Outside the Roberta's complex, every Sunday (just my luck!), Brooklyn Grange -- a 1-acre rooftop farm launched in Queens in collaboration with Roberta's -- sells their goods, and how good they are! Today I bought 5 hot Hungarian peppers and brought them home for the pickling treatment. Stuffed into a recycled jar with cumin, thyme, garlic, black peppercorns, and of course the requisite sugar/salt/water solution, these are sure to be spicy and delicious little sandwich toppers for the winter months to come.

The below recipe can be used on all sorts of veggies, not just peppers, and I encourage you to play around with different spices and herbs - cause it's pretty hard to make a bad pickle!

Pickled Peppers
(fills one pint jar)

2 cups water
1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
5 black peppercorns
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 sprigs thyme
5 small Hungarian peppers, destemmed and sliced

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and garlic until it comes to a boil. Shut off the heat and leave covered until ready to use.

2. Thoroughly wash a pint-size glass jar and fill with the cumin, thyme and pepper slices. Pack in tightly, leaving a bit of room at the top of the jar.

3. Pour the pickling solution, with all the solids, into the jar, filling to the very top. Screw on lid tightly and leave on the counter until cooled to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator up to two weeks.

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