- 1 pound small martynia pods, well rinsed in cold water
- 4 to 5 small hot peppers, or to taste
- 6 cloves garlic, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp celery seed
- 1 medium onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced paper thin
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups white vinegar
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- Soak the martynias overnight in heavily salted water, then drain and shake dry in a colander.
- Combine the martynias, hot pepper, garlic, peppercorns, celery seed and onion in a deep work bowl. Pack this mixture into a hot, sterilized 2-quart canning jar. Heat the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and tomato paste in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over high heat for 2 minutes. Use a whisk to break down the tomato paste until it is fully dissolved. Pour the boiling hot mixture over the martynias and seal. Cool on a rack, then store in the refrigerator 2 to 3 weeks before using. Be certain to use a small mouth jar, which will keep the martynias pressed down in the brine — as they marinate, they will eventually settle. Yields 2 quarts.
- Martynia pickles should be stored in the refrigerator because they aren’t as acidic as most pickles and may spoil at room temperature.
Much like okra, martynia pods lend themselves well to pickling. Choose pods that are 2 to 3 inches in length. Larger pods will begin developing woody fibers that will not break down in cooking. Be sure to add enough hot pepper to give the pickle a little kick.
Spicy martynia pickles are excellent with cold beer and barbecue. (If you cannot obtain martynias, this recipe will also work with baby okra.)