Cucina Valentina

Cucina Valentina

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Lemon-Chipotle Dipping Sauce

I've discovered a new favorite appetizer that I cannot wait to share!  

Beautiful, Shishito Peppers.

If you are into food like I am, you've probably seen these little gems cropping up in the pages of numerous food magazines and been intrigued.  When they showed up on the menu at my favorite local sushi spot, I knew it was time to give them a try.

Finding Shishitos in the grocery store wasn't so easy.  I rooted through several different markets to no avail, then suddenly one night my neighborhood Von's revamped the produce section and the next morning I inadvertently walked into Foodie Heaven.

Mixed in with the standard celery, potatoes and broccoli I was delighted to see...

wildly striped graffiti eggplant
deep purple bell peppers
jewel tone carrots
a rainbow of colored baby beets
exotic mushrooms of every size and shape
even tiny quail eggs!   
and, yes, shishito peppers. 

Von's is stepping up their game, and I couldn't be happier!

Being that they are a small green pepper similar to a jalapeno or serrano, one might assume they are spicy.  I can assure you, they're not hot at all.  They are actually mild and sweet, and virtually addicting.  I dare you to eat just one.

They are super quick and simple to make, and if you can flip them in the skillet with a flick of the wrist, you are sure to impress your guests 

I will flip like crazy and haven't lost a pepper yet, though I will spend quite some time cleaning the stove top after my guest have gone home.


Heat the butter and lemon infused olive oil until it's frothy and just starting to darken, which will give the peppers that rich, satisfying browned butter flavor plus an underlying hint of lemon.

Don't worry if you get distracted and they burn a bit.  A little char is what you want.

Just keep flipping and they will keep sizzling and popping.  It makes for a great show.

The dipping sauce is just a thicker version of my Lemon Chipotle Crema, minus the milk,  It's acidic, lemony bite is the perfect compliment to the buttery peppers, as is Tobin James Ballistic Zinfandel.  This rich, silky red is out of this world, with layers of deep dark fruit and raisins.  For years we've been stocking up at the winery every time we traveled to Paso Robles.  Imagine my excitement when one of my favorite reds turned up at my local Von's grocery store!

P.S. Thank you for the gorgeous bowls, Tobin James Cellars!

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Lemon-Chipotle Dipping Sauce




10 oz shishito peppers, picked through, rinsed and dried
1 T butter
1 T Cucina Valentina Sicilian Lemon Olive Oil
sea salt
lemon juice


Heat butter and oil on medium-high in a wide skillet until frothy and just starting to brown.  Add peppers.  Saute peppers, flipping every few minutes until they are nicely blistered and slightly charred.

Arrange on serving platter and drizzle with fresh lemon juice.  Sprinkle with flaky salt.

Lemon-Chipotle Dipping Sauce



1/2 C Fage non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 C mayonnaise
1 t honey
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 t chipotle chili powder
salt and pepper to taste 


Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

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