Friday, August 22, 2014

Blistered Shishito Peppers

Shishito and padron peppers are all the rage in Sacramento. Last year I could only find them occasionally in the farmer's market. They were the secret darling of cutting edge chefs. This year, they're making appearances every week at the farmer's market and I've seen them at Whole Foods. As for chefs, I've seen them on not just one, but four restaurant menus this summer. They usually appear as the chef's special appetizer. I expect to see them any day now in every green grocery aisle.

Both peppers are similar, usually mild, with just an occasional spicy kick. They are frequently served grilled, either pan grilled as I've done here, or broiled under a low broiler. The point is to cook the peppers only until slightly blistered. The olive oil adds flavor, and more importantly, allows the salt to stick! If you have larger grained salt, this is the place to use it. The larger grain allows you to use less salt, and still get both the crunch and flavor.


2 cups whole Shishito or Padron peppers
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions:  Toss the peppers with the olive oil. Heat a grill pan on high and cook the peppers, tossing them (or stirring them) from time to time, so that they blister on all sides. Add the sea salt and serve.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: As you can see, I've used red Hawaiian salt. The larger salt crystals really pack a punch, and I don't have to use much. Also, salt is a wonderful cooking memory to bring back from a vacation. It lasts a long time, and is easy to pack!

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