We recently harvested and dried a bunch of pink pepper and have been playing with ways to savor this delicately sweet, spicy, and almost citrusy berry. Here are two bright and festive appetizer recipes that pair pink peppercorns with thyme: a warm, creamy goat cheese spread, and zesty marinated olives.
For a quick yet elegant baguette or crostini spread, we drizzled fresh goat cheese with honey, pink pepper, and thyme and baked it until soft and bubbly. The result was a wonderful balance of savory and sweet.
Pink peppercorns and thyme also found their way into a batch of marinated olives. Along with curls of lemon zest, the ingredients made a pretty, holiday-worthy hors d'oeuvre.
Pink Pepper Goat Cheese Spread
Makes 1 cup
8 ounces goat cheese 2 teaspoons honey 1 teaspoon pink pepper, some whole and some crushed 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Spread goat cheese in a small ramekin or gratin dish. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with pink pepper and thyme.
Bake until cheese is warmed through and soft, about 10 minutes.
Serve warm with slices of fresh or toasted baguette.
Pink Pepper Marinated Olives
Makes 1 cup
1 cup Lucques, Picholine, or other brine-cured green olives 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons pink pepper, some whole and some crushed 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves Zest of 1 lemon
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Cover and marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.