In Turkey, whole marinated peppers are eaten as a "meze," or appetizer, before the main course meal. You can also use them wherever you would use ready jarred pimentos.
All you need is a bunch of sweet, red Italian grilling peppers, better known as "Corno di Toro," or "horn of the bull" peppers. They are long, tapered, meaty peppers that turn a rich, dark red when ripe.
Choose your peppers carefully making sure they are free of blemishes. After blanching your peppers and removing the skin, all you need to do is let them rest in the pickling mixture you prepare.
You can adjust the amounts of sugar, salt, spices and garlic to your taste until you come up with the perfect pepper-pickling mix. They are best eaten after a few days, but will store nicely up to a week in a glass jar in the fridge.
This summer I grew Italian grilling peppers in my garden, so I had plenty for pickling. Jars of pickled peppers make wonderful, colorful gifts.
Just cover your jar lids with decorative fabric, tie with a card and ribbon and deliver it in a gift bag. Try making your own Turkish-style marinated sweet peppers with this recipe. It's sure to bring smiles at your dinner table or as a gift.
Photo © Elizabeth Taviloglu, 2012