Last year my friend Lindsay and her then boyfriend, now husband, visited me in Seattle. We took them to all our favorite foodie spots, one of which was Terra Plata in the ever-popular Melrose Market. We drank champagne on the rooftop deck, dodged the looming rain and snacked on flash fried shishito peppers. It was an instant love affair with these bright green Japanese chiles, but it wasn’t until this summer that our paths crossed once again.
Blistered shishito peppers caught my eye last weekend while engaging in my favorite Sunday ritual: drinking espresso mid-morning while reading Bon Appetit and planning my grocery list. With a laundry list of ingredients in hand, I hit the Ballard Farmers Market with purpose! Memories from that evening at Terra Plata danced through my mind… the salty, slightly spicy peppers and cold bubbly champagne. It was like a dream.
Shishito peppers are of mild spice and high in vitamin A, B, C and K. They are perfection as a snack, appetizer or side dish. The seeds don’t make them spicier so enjoy the entire pepper with abandon.
Foodie Note: For a simple preparation, sauté with olive oil over high heat until skin blisters. Sprinkle with large flake sea salt, let cool slightly and serve with sparkling wine.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit.
10 skewers, soaked in water at least 30 minutes
1/2 lb lamb shoulder
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
½ lb shishito peppers
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1) Heat grill to medium high (about 400*F).
2) In a small dish, make spice mixture of salt, pepper and chili flakes.
3) Slice chicken breasts lengthwise into 1” wide pieces. Do the same to the lamb, but keep meats separate. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil over chicken and season with spice mixture. Do the same with the lamb.
4) Drizzle shishito peppers with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with spice mixture.
5) Take a skewer out of the water, poke it through a pepper widthwise and slide it to the end; thread a piece of meat, add another pepper and a second piece of meat. Keep the chicken skewers and lamb skewers separate. Continue this process with all the meat and peppers.
6) Place skewers on hot grill grates, cook for about 4 minutes, flip to grill other side for an additional 1-3 minutes, depending on meat thickness.
7) Once meat is cooked, let rest for 8 minutes and serve on skewers.
Make it a meal with a beet slaw of fresh herbs and lemon juice.