This Labor Day weekend we flew to Portland to visit Ryan’s family. His cousins David and Ana were in town all the way from Spain, so we kissed Sylvia goodbye and headed north to see them. Aside from the thick smoke caused by forest fires looming over the entire state of Oregon, we had a wonderful time: cooking meals together, jumping on trampolines with our nieces, meeting their guinea pigs Pepe and Nick, swimming in the pool—including a few rounds of Marco Polo, sampling fresh crispy churros con chocolate in a boutique shop near downtown, taking long walks through the lush Durham Park just steps away from the house where Ryan grew up, all the while practicing our Spanish with the relatives. One night for dinner, Ana prepared a pastel, a savory quiche-like dish with eggs, potatoes, and white asparagus, topped with a tangy red sauce made from roasted pimentos, raw garlic, and cream. We will definitely be posting about it here soon, but until then, this simple appetizer we are sharing today reminds us of when we visited them in Spain—hopping from bar to bar and sampling the few vegetarian tapas options we could find. Say hola to blistered shishito peppers with garlic and ginger.
In Spain they are called pimientos de padrón. Simply sautéed with a little olive oil and salt, this traditional Spanish dish looks spicier than it appears. Similar to a green bell pepper, these thin fingerling fruits have a sweet flavor and a mild heat. We were feeling frisky and decided to doctor this tasty hors d’oeuvre up a bit—it is the weekend after all! With chopped garlic and ginger, a splash of sesame oil, and freshly squeezed lime, your Saturday snack situation just strengthened substantially. Tune in today at 12pm PST as we go live on Instagram and start the weekend off with some blistering peppers, just like it should.
Blistered Shishitos with Garlic & Ginger
serves 4 to 6
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
12 ounces (340g) shishito peppers, washed and patted dry
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, divided (plus more for garnish)
3 large garlic cloves (15g), minced
2 heaping teaspoons (10g) minced fresh ginger
pinch of freshly-ground black pepper
2 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. When hot, add half of the peppers to cover the bottom of the skillet in a single layer. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt over the peppers, and toss the peppers to coat them evenly. Cook until the peppers are blistered and starting to char in places, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add half the minced garlic and half the minced ginger, toss to combine, and cook for 30 to 60 seconds, until the garlic just begins to turn golden—do not let the garlic burn. Immediately transfer the peppers to a serving plate, and use a silicone spatula to scrape all the bits of garlic and ginger over the peppers.
Return the empty skillet to the stove and repeat the process: heat the remaining olive and sesame oils together, blister the peppers with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, then add the remaining garlic and ginger and when finished, transfer to the serving plate.
Sprinkle the peppers with a few pinches of salt, along with black pepper, lime juice, and sesame seeds, and toss to combine. Serve hot, and enjoy!