The recipe for Christmas-Spiced Salt includes red peppercorns. It does also mention that these are difficult to get hold of, which is true! What would the best alternative be? I know the most similar in colour is the pink variety but I'm not sure if they will give the right flavour. Can you please help?
Nigella's Christmas-Spiced Salt (from NIGELLA CHRISTMAS) is a mixture of sea salt flakes, pepper, chilli flakes and star anise. The recipe includes red peppercorns as they give the salt a seasonal splash of bright colour. Red peppercorns are those that have been harvested only when they are fully ripe.
Pink peppercorns come from a slightly different plant to regular peppercorns, a Brazilian shrub called the Brazilian Pepper Tree. However they are called peppercorns because their flavour is very similar to regular pepper. The flavour is slightly milder and frutier, but they pack plenty of spicy punch and for the salt recipe they can be used instead of red peppercorns. Some peppercorns sold as red peppercorns are actually pink ones. We would look for pink peppercorns that are as deep in colour as possible so that they really stand out against the snowy white of the salt flakes.