Posts Tagged vegetables

Ode to the Shishito Pepper

If I were to devise my perfect day, it would most certainly end with the eating of oysters and shishito peppers – outdoors – at the Mermaid Inn.  I first came across the shishito at the sushi restaurant we frequent after most school meetings or parent-teacher conferences.  Similar to the “Pimientos de Padrón” found in tapas bars across Spain, shishitos are a mild pepper, grilled or pan-fried until they are blistered, best served with sea-salt and lime.  They are an addictive finger-food and exciting to eat as every so often you get one hot enough to make your eyes water.  This year, I noticed them popping up at our farmer’s market in August and decided we should try making them ourselves.  So I bought a bunch and brought them to a barbecue where we threw them onto the grill with the corn.

Once they were blistered, we pulled them off and they were gone in five minutes flat.  My only regret was not buying more.  I started stalking the one farmstand that offers them in my neighborhood and we started grilling them on the stovetop, too. All you need to do is heat some oil (olive or grape seed) in a skillet – we used cast-iron – and cook the peppers until they are almost blackened.  Toss them with some salt and squeeze on some lime and you are good to go.  As the season wears on, the peppers ripen a bit and the last batch we bought had turned almost all red:

I was concerned that this would somehow make them really spicy and hard to eat in large quantities, but the flavor was more or less the same.  Shishito season is August and September, so you if you see them at your local market, get them while you can. Even my five-year-old loves them!

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CSA challenge: braising greens out the hoo-ha.

Thursday is CSA day, when we pick up a gigantic load of vegetables and the anxiety starts to mount.  How to get through it all?   While we used to make a weekly grocery list of what we needed, we now make a list of what we have and then try to think of how we can eat it all up before the following Thursday.  It’s a vicious cycle, but one we love.  Here is a list of the weekly take, with some ideas of how we might use it.  But I would love to hear yours, we are in need of some inspiration!

  • 1 quart of potatoes (spanish tortilla or side of roasted potatoes, no rush on these – they last forever)
  • 6 Roma tomatoes (pizza sauce? caprese salad, oven dried or tomato confit)
  • 1 quart beefsteak tomatoes (sandwiches! pasta sauce)
  • Broccoli Rabe (easy, orecchiette with sausage and broccoli rabe)
  • Fennel (shave it and put it in a salad – see below)
  • Big bag of Arugula – salad
  • Big bag of Salad greens – duh.
  • Broccoli – good for the kids!
  • Cilantro – planning to use for Soto Ayam (recipe soon!)
  • Big bag of kale – I could eat kale every day, braised, sauteéd, whatever.
  • Head of Garlic  – braise with kale
  • 1 onion – add to other onions in onion bowl
  • Gigantic amount of braising greens, mostly chard – looks like a lot of chicken breast with greens coming our way.
  • Pears – I love you pears, so delicious and nothing to do.

So from here, we start to compose our meals for the next week and here is where we need the help.  Send me your ideas and I’ll post what we make and the recipes.  Our biggest challenge is the chard.  What else to do with it besides melting it down with some garlic? I know you know.  Please tell me!

Coming soon: Yogurt or How I lost my yojo and am trying to get it back.

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