In years past I grew all my peppers from seed. This year was different, which left me growing some new varieties picked up from the local nurseries. One of them is the Shishito, a mild, somewhat sweet pepper from Japan. A trip to Spain a few years back left me with a desire to grow these specifically for making a tapas dish served there. The thin-skinned peppers are pan-fried in a little bit of oil until blistered, tossed with some coarse sea salt and a squeeze of some lemon. Simple, but ridiculously good. Though the peppers you will find served this way in Spain are likely Padrons, I remember them being longer and wrinkly like the Shishitos I grew. Who knows though; I was drinking a lot of wine.
A few days ago I was able to pick about 40 of them, impressive for a plant that’s yet to reach a foot tall. It was a beautiful summer evening in Goleta, and I had a Firestone Union Jack IPA in the fridge, so I decided to do them on the grill. They took about 5 minutes with some frequent turning. I returned them to the bowl, tossed them with sea salt and lemon and served them hot. You hold them by the stem end and eat everything else, seeds and all. I’m still figuring this camera out, so they finished ones are a little blurry, but you get the idea. A bowl of Shishitos on the table, a view of the garden and an IPA in my right hand? Talk about happy hour.