Last fall, before my dear friend and coworker Leslie Criss left the Journal, she told me about a new recipe she had tried using shishito peppers.
I know – I’d never heard of them either. She said to saute them in a pan with some oil and salt and pepper and just eat the whole thing, except for the stem. Leslie said she found her peppers at Walmart, so that’s where I got mine (I’m not saying other stores don’t carry them ... I’m saying this is where I found them).
They come prepackaged in a bag and supposedly, one out of every 10 is hot while the others are sweet. We’ve made these two or three times at our house and none of us have ever gotten a hot one.
While looking through Ina Garten’s “Cook Like a Pro” cookbook Sunday, I found an actual recipe for them. Ina squeezes a bit of fresh lime juice on hers before serving, which sounds like an excellent suggestion.
These are best served warm or at room temperature. The flavor is delicious and refreshing – not strong like a bell pepper and not hot like a jalapeño. They’re a good, healthy snack ... maybe something to put out on Super Bowl Sunday to offset heavier appetizers.
SAUTEED SHISHITO PEPPERS
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 pound shishito peppers
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Flaked sea salt
Heat oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium to medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the peppers in one layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, tossing often until blistered and browned.
Off heat, squeeze some lime juice on the peppers and sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Serve hot right from the pan or transfer to a small serving dish. Serves 4 to 6.