I had never heard of Shishinto peppers until I visited Barcelona, Spain last year. It was a gorgeous day and we decided to lunch at a small, outdoor cafe. We saw the waiter bringing out plate after plate of these little peppers. They were piled high on the platter and still sizzled, having just come out of the pan. They were served with nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt.
As everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, around us was eating them, we decided to give them a try (“when in Rome” and all…). I was assured by the waiter that they are not hot/spicy, so I was game. When they arrived, we dove in and just about licked the plate clean. They were absolutely delicious and quite easy to eat; they have a little stem that you can hold onto and simply take little (or not so little!) bites of the pepper until you’ve reached the stem (note: the seeds are eaten as well, unlike jalapenos and other hot/spicy varieties.
After returning from our trip, I began to see these little gems in Whole Foods. The truth is, I had probably walked by them before, mistakenly assuming that they were hot peppers. Now that I knew better, I began buying them whenever I saw them and preparing them the same way that they were prepared in Spain – blistered in a (very) hot pan with olive oil and salt.
Like most peppers, Shishinto peppers are in season during the summer months, so right now is the perfect time to make this recipe. Truly, it is SO simple and, as we know, simple preparations are often best way to highlight the natural flavors of fruits and veggies that are in season and at their peak.
Blistered Shishinto Peppers
- Shishinto peppers no particular amount - as many as you desire or will fit in your pan
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and additional oil for drizzling
- Coarse sea salt
Preheat a saute pan over high heat until the pan is very hot.
Add the olive oil and the peppers. Saute the peppers, keeping a close watch on them. As soon as the skin on one side of the pepper becomes browned and blistered, turn it. Do this until all sides are nicely blistered (see photo above).
Remove peppers from the heat and drizzle additional olive oil over them. Sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt and enjoy!
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