Pickled Martynia with Hot Peppers Recipe

This pickled Martynia recipe results in a sweet-and-sour pickle that has been in American cookbooks for nearly two centuries.

Winter 2014-15

  • Pickled martynias are quite an old-time treat that began appearing in American cookbooks in the 1840s.
    Photo courtesy of www.RareSeeds.com

Yield: 2 Pints

The following recipe for pickled Martynia will yield a pleasantly sweet-and-sour pickle. If you like a little more smokiness than what you may get from common habanero peppers, try adding one or two tablespoons of powdered chipotle peppers, or if you can get them, cumari peppers come from the jungles of Brazil; botanically speaking, they are cousins of the better known habaneros. However, Cumari peppers are small, yellow and shaped like berries, yet their intensely hot, smoky flavor is unique and much appreciated in Brazilian cuisine. Pickled martynias any way you want them are quite an old-time treat which began appearing in American cookbooks in the 1840s, so in a sense this recipe combines something old with something new. If you do not like hot peppers, simply leave them out.

 Learn more about Martynia and how to grow it in the article Pickled Martynia with Hot Peppers.


• 12 ounces of small tender Martynia pods or a mix of Martynia pods and baby okra
• 2 Garlic cloves cut into thin slices lengthwise
• 4 Fresh bay leaves
• 1/2 Medium onion sliced paper thin
• 8 Whole allspice berries
• 1/3 cup sliced sweet red peppers
• 3 cups white wine vinegar
• 1/2 cup spring water
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon pickling salt
• 8 to 10 Cumari peppers or chopped ‘Habanero’ peppers (optional)


1. Trim the Martynias of their stems and tips (also trim off the stems of the baby okra if you are using them). Weigh the vegetables to be certain you have 12 ounces, and then set aside the okra.

2. Heat a pan of lightly salted water and bring it to a full rolling boil. Reduce the heat so that the water is barely quivering, then add the Martynias. Poach the Martynias 5 minutes, then drain and combine with the okra in a deep work bowl.

3. Add the garlic, bay leaves, and onion.

5. Put 4 whole allspice berries in each of the hot, sanitized pint jars.

6. Fill the jars with the vegetable mixture being certain that each jar receives 2 bay leaves. Place 4 to 5 stemmed, slit hot peppers in each jar.

7. Heat the vinegar, spring water, sugar, and salt in a non-reactive preserving pan and bring to a rolling boil. Boil 3 minutes then pour this over the vegetables and seal.

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