Of all the blog categories to use for this post, “Try Something New” was really a no-brainer. As mentioned before, and before, ad nauseam.. we are generally stuck within culinary boundaries of our own making where we eat an extremely limited variety of foods … day..after day… after day. .. Now don’t get me wrong, Green Peppercorns won’t rock your world as something radically different, rather they’ll expand the old pepper theme with something more subtle … and open the door to other things such as sauces that you may enjoy for the first time.
First some background, Black Pepper as you may know comes from the Piper Nigrum plant. Green Pepper comes from this same plant and is simply the berries that have been harvested before ripening has occurred. And FYI: White Pepper is nothing more than the Black Pepper with it’s pulp removed.
Now what you’ll get from these guys is a milder kick than you’d experience from black pepper. Some typical uses are in sauces (where it’s subtlety is appreciated). … In case you want to try this spice in a sauce you could go for a Grilled Salmon with a Green Peppercorn Sauce (however, be aware that I haven’t as yet tried this or any other recipe from Larry Ervin so you’re on your own). And another from Epicurious, also untried, for Filet Mignon with a Green Peppercorn Cream Sauce.
Typically the Green Peppercorns are best fresh or when preserved in brine or vinegar. However, I picked some up in the dried form at the Co-Op and simply use them in the pepper mill. This is good for when you need some peppery notes but really want to keep them in the background. If this is the case, Green Pepper will do nicely at not overpowering your food so that the other flavors can shine.