Summer is winding down and this year I am going to make some vegetable condiments to last us through fall or possibly even winter. In India, my mom and aunt used to make vegetable pickles, fruit relishes and chutneys and even dry vegetables in summer to make interesting fritters ( tomato- carrots sandge or dried yogurt filled mirchi??). I have some other ideas based on recent mind-blowing dining experiences in SF. Home-made French mustard ( over salmon, in sandwiches and salads), over roasted sun-dried tomatoes ( for sandwiches, tarts and pasta), pickled red bell pepper (over anything really).
Before buying things in bulk, I am experimenting with a few vegetables and will probably make them in bulk to preserve if successful.
First up are Padron Peppers. I haven’t seen them in Whole Foods or Trader Joes but local Farmers Market has these peppers in bulk. The Peppers are not very spicy as is ( at least not if you are used to Indian palate) but taste brilliant when tempered in fruity olive oil. If you like Indian green chillies pickle, you are bound to like this.
Tempering the peppers reduces their heat even further. The crisped up pepper skin, fruity flavor of the oil and smokiness from the cumin and peppers make this an excellent condiment. We have had it with curd-rice, dal-chawal and even over taco’s and salads.
The pepper and cumin flavors seep into the oil giving it depth and smokiness. I used the oil as a dipping sauce as well as a base to make salad dressing. Both were excellent.
This is truly one pickle you should make before the peppers disappear from the market!
NOTE: I made this couple of times in very small quantity. I plan to make a pound of pickled peppers. It will probably need 1 cup of oil and 1/4 cup cumin seeds. Cooking time will increase as well but just eye-ball it to make sure that the peppers are roasted evenly for better taste. Taste and adjust salt. Let cool completely before filling and refrigerating in airtight containers.
Padron Peppers Pickle Recipe
- 1 – 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup padron peppers, washed and slit
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Heat oil in a skillet. Add cumin seeds when the oil is heated. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add the padron peppers.
Let them cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes or so till they are blistered. Toss them and let the other side of the peppers cook for another minute or so. Add salt. Cover with a lid and let cook for another minute over low heat.