Pickle Du Jour: Peperoncini

It's kind of pointless to keep these in my fridge, as I tend to eat them by the half-jar. Plus, with all that bright chartreuse brine exposed, spicy picklebacks are inevitable. In the spirit of trying new pickles, I implore you to give peperoncini a shot. They're the pale yellow-green peppers found atop your Greek or antipasto salad, alongside or even in your Italian beef sandwich, by the pair in a pizza box...basically, you've encountered them. They make kosher dills cry.

An excellent way to get started is by thinly slicing your peperoncini and sprinkling them over a pizza with some kind of meat (like sausage). The heat and acid cut through this brick wall of tasty fats like a hot knife through butter (which you can also toss on there to test out peperoncini's prowess). Chop them up and toss them with pasta in cream sauce for an effect that will enable you to consume more fettucine alfredo than you ever imagined possible. The heavy cream, butter, cheese and soft pasta just beg for something crunchy, spicy and pickled.

Adding peperoncini is a no-brainer when it comes to sandwiches, from the classic, like sausage and peppers, to the craziest artery-clogger the South has ever provided us with. You could go the haute sandwich spot of the moment route and go with pickled red onions. Or you could man up, brave the creeping heat only the seeds of a whole pepper contain, and stick a few of those bad boys on your meatloaf sandwich (Jess' Dangerloaf actually contains them).

Before those neon green beauties get anywhere near my plate, however, I sample a few. As with the elusive soup dumpling, technique is key. You must bite and slurp at the same time to avoid losing the brine inside the pepper. Then you must warn me that all that sodium intake is probably bad for my heart. Then I will dismiss you and if there are any peppers left at that point, I may put them in my food.