Lemon-Okra Pickles

De Arbol (Capsicum Annuum) means tree like in Spanish. The plant has thick, upright, woody stems and the chile itself is narrow, curved and bright red in color. Believed to be closely related to the pequin, the De Arbol is thin fleshed, with tannic, smoky, grassy flavor and searing heat. This chile has a heat range of 7.5 on the heat scale of 1-10. De Arbol Chiles are comparable to a Cayenne Pepper. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 30,000.

Suggested Use:
De Arbol is a hot chile and a staple in Southwest kitchens. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish. Be adventurous and add them to your next stew or chili along with the other spices. Add some heat to your next salsa or Mexican dish.

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3/4 pound medium okra, stems trimmed
6 ( 3″ ) long strips of lemon zest
2 dried red chiles de arbol
1 cup white wine vinegar, plus more if needed
1 cup water
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. sugar


. Pack the okra, lemon zest, oregano and chiles into a 1 quart heatproof jar.

In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar with the water, garlic, sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until the sugar dissolves. Ladle the pickling liquid into the jar. Add more vinegar to cover the okra if necessary. Let the pickles cool, then cover with a lid and refrigerate until flavorful, about 3 weeks.

Yields 1 quart.

Recipe adapted from one by Marcia Kiesel , Food & Wine Magazine, August 1999.