Blistered Shishito Peppers Instead of Cheese and Crackers

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A heart-healthy, delicious hot appetizer, Blistered Shishito Peppers are often on restaurant menus—but did you know they are a cinch to make at home? (And if you’re like me and don’t care for bell peppers, know that shishitos are delightfully different: a mild, ‘sweet’ pepper, their flavor is not at all like bell peppers.)

At your next dinner party (or just for fun on a weeknight—they are that easy) serve blistered Shishitos as an amazingly easy, delicious, and far heart-healthier alternative to high-fat cheese and crackers.

Available at local farmers markets, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, I am both obsessed and addicted. Two things to note: a) look for bags with smaller Shishitos as they cook more quickly and are easier to eat, and b) fair warning that while shishitos are not at all spicy in general, about 1 in 10 are quite spicy. It’s a little Russian Roulette-y which can just add to the fun.

Read more about the generally mild taste of shishito peppers, and find the Trader Joe’s ‘Recipe here’ or just follow these three easy steps:

  1. Heat a SCANT amount of extra virgin olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet or heavy non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Truly, just a little: not even 1 TB.
  2. WHEN HOT, add 1 bag of shishito peppers and turn them occasionally, until they begin to blister on all sides. You want them nicely browned on some sides, not burned. Takes about 10-15 minutes, and you’ll want to turn on your cooktop fan.
  3. Wipe away any excess olive oil (there shouldn’t be much). Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and serve immediately.

This picture is from the Trader Joe’s recipe above – they’re a little more ‘blistered’ than I like, but you get the idea of what they should look like post-cooking!



2 thoughts on “Blistered Shishito Peppers Instead of Cheese and Crackers

  1. Very interesting. I’ve never heard of these peppers before. Do you peel them once you blister the skin, or eat them skin and all. Could you eat them raw? Diced up in a salad perhaps?

  2. I had never heard of them either – no peeling required! You eat them skin and all (but not the stems – just bite below the stem!) I would not think they’d be good raw; when I’ve undercooked them I haven’t liked them as much (they get soft when you blister them – they’re ready when they are pliable!) I bet they’d be good cooked and diced in a salad, but I’d never make it that far – they are too delicious an appetizer!

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