Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pick A Peck Of Pretty Pink Peppers

After reading this article about pink pepper-berries, I couldn't wait to see if there were any growing at my Mom's house when I visited for Christmas. Just off the back yard, there is a huge and graceful Peruvian pepper tree. That's where my tree-house was when the tree and I were much younger, but I don't ever remember there being pink berries on it. Turns out that these trees bear little or no fruit if there are not enough female flowers present. Since I've been away though, there has been a new Brazilian pepper tree growing under and among some other plants by the fence, stretching way up high for a bit of sunlight. And there were pink berries on it. Not a lot, but a few. The scrawny lanky "tree" was a volunteer in the yard, and though I didn't pick a peck* of pepper-berries, I did manage to reach a couple small clusters. Next time we'll need to get the ladder out. With these rosy little foraged berries, homemade crusty bread, and some goat cheese, we'll be all set for New Year's Eve! Now if only I had the thyme...

My Notes: This couldn't have gone together easier. I split the goat cheese between two shallow 4 oz. ramekins (truth be told, they were from Trader Joe's frozen créme brulée). No fresh thyme was available, so I used some that I dried myself from our old garden before we moved. The spread smelled fantastic coming out of the oven and tasted great smeared on the homemade bread. The honey really countered the pepper berry perfectly. As easy as this is, I love that it can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. Let's see: it's super easy, really tasty, not your average party offering, and it's pretty too. Most definitely a keeper.

*Ever wonder just how many peppers were in that peck that Peter Piper picked? Click here to find out.
Peruvian Pepper Tree (Schinus molle)
Brazilian Pepper Tree (Schinus terebinthifolius)
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