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Shishito peppers are something seasonal for me and thus are a real treat. I used to get them only through my CSA and would relish those one or two meals we could make with them every summer. This year I found myself with more gardening space and I thought, why not see how successful I could be at planting them? I bought only one plant and it turns out that was a great decision because that plant was easy and fast to grow (The first peppers of the year have been from it though that is probably because I pick them green. They will turn red if you leave them on the plant.) and it has already produced a large number of peppers and keeps producing. Next year I plan to buy seeds and grow my own (I would harvest them but I am not sure if this plant is a heirloom or not). If you have a little room for a pepper plant I highly recommend this one. I would probably grow well in containers too.
These peppers might be my favorite pepper1Ok well, I will completely honest, my heirloom 3rd generation toro peppers might be my favorite but that is partially because of the pride I have in “developing” them. The plants grow to almost 4 feet!!! and the peppers are big, sweet, and crunchy. They aren’t too sweet, aren’t too spicy (occasionally you can get some spicy ones, so eating them can be a little like roulette), and are the perfect size for eating individually. These characteristics also make them super easy to prepare for a fast snack, appetizer, or side dish.
Roasting shishito peppers is so quick and easy (all you need is a cast iron skillet! I have Lodge on which I love. It is by far, other than my knives and chopping blocks, the most used tool in my kitchen and do not know how I would live without it anymore. I have actually considered buying multiple different sizes.) that I no longer prepare them any other way. Plus with the lemon and the cheese you get the combination of sour and umami the pairs really well with the slight spicy and savoriness of the peppers. So good, trust me on this one and make these right now during prime shishito season.
Roasted Shishito Peppers
This is a simple recipe. Makes as many as you can fit in your cast iron skillet without a lot of overlap.
shishito peppers (washed and dried, stem intact)
1 tablespoon olive oil (more if it doesn’t fully coat peppers)
salt & pepper to taste (a few grinds)
pecorino romano (or parmesan) cheese (enough for a thin layer)
lemon juice (about 1/4 of a lemon)
- Place oven rack 1/3rd of the way up in the oven and turn broiler on high. Place cast iron skillet in the oven to allow to heat up.
- While skillet is heating toss shishitos, olive oil, salt, and pepper in bowl.
- Once the cast iron skillet is smoking hot throw in peppers.
- Cook until peppers are nice and blistered on one side then swirl/stir/toss pan. Cook until other side is blistered. The time on this will depend on how hot the broiler is in the oven, just watch them.
- Remove from oven and either place on serving plate or leave in skillet. Squish lemon juice all over peppers then add the cheese. I like to shred it directly onto the peppers until they are fully covered. (I use a microplane zester which I love for so many things and suggest everyone have. It grates the cheese perfectly for this dish.)
- Serve warm and eat straight. Bite the pepper whole and pull straight off of the stem. Delicious! Or make a dipping sauce and dip, dip away.