Blistered Shishitos with Aioli

I had never heard of Shishito peppers until a couple years ago, and then all of a sudden they seemed to be on every trendy restaurant menu. I became quickly obsessed with them, but was not interested in paying $10 for a tiny plate of them. Thankfully Paul started growing them, and his are easily the most flavorful ones I’ve ever had. While I know you can do more with them, I’ve honestly never gotten past giving them a quick blister in a pan and serving them with a simple aioli. They are the perfect, simple summer appetizer or side.

My full share this week was cherry tomatoes, tomatoes, Shishito peppers, lettuce, zucchini, scallions, and tokyo bekana. The tomatoes and lettuce went into BLTs. I made a pizza with a lot of random fridge bits, not too far from this one. Since I already bought bacon, I may make some zucchini carbonara. Scallions went into my absolute favorite eggplant dish, fish-fragrant eggplant.

Blistered Shishitos with Aioli

Serves 4 as an appetizer

  • 1/2 lb shishito peppers (this was 2 pints for me)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons full-fat mayo
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Flaky sea salt for serving

Wash and dry the peppers.

In a small bowl add a pinch of kosher salt, the grated garlic, mayo and lemon juice. Stir or whisk to combine.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Drizzle in some oil, then add the peppers and toss. Let the peppers cook for 1-2 minutes, until their skin starts to blacken and blister. Toss so they continue to blacken and blister on the other side for another 1-2 minutes. When each pepper has charred spots on multiple sides, remove from the pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and serve with aioli.

Summer Salad with Tapenade

We’ve officially entered my favorite month of the year. And I do mean entered, because my favorite month is not August, but mid-August through mid-September. In my mind the best produce isn’t limited to calendar months, but this last third of summer. While we’re still enjoying cucumbers, zucchini, and green beans, tomatoes start to come in hot, as well as eggplant, peppers. Sweet corn kernels burst off the cob, melons are ripe, berries are still in full swing. Greens love the relief from the hot weather, and then we start to see some fall veg come in. There really aren’t enough meals in the day to eat all the goodness.

This salad is a bounty in a bowl. Take whatever veg you have and toss it with a bold tapenade for an easy dinner. The mix of cooked and raw vegetables makes for an interesting salad, and it’s vegan if you leave out the anchovy. Add in some additional protein like beans, hard-boiled eggs, or cooked meats if you want to bulk it up.

My full share this week was potatoes, husk cherries, tomatoes, scallions, fresh onions, hole-y arugula, carrots, holy basil, zucchini, shishito peppers, melon, and a few tiny eggplant. For lunch one day I made egg salad sandwiches with arugula and tomato. Half a giant zucchini, a tomato, and some onions went into a savory galette inspired by this one and this one, served with blistered shishitos on the side. My remaining zucchini and scallions are going alongside this Yakitori-style salmon (NYTimes link). Holy basil is going into Pad Kra Pao. I highly recommend embracing the slightly lower temps to turn on your oven for roasted eggplant and cherry tomato pizza or Athena bowls.

Summer Salad with Tapenade

Serves 4

Adapted from Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark

  • 1 medium eggplant (or about 6 fairytale)
  • 1 medium zucchini (or half a large one)
  • 1 lb new potatoes
  • ½ lb green beans
  • 1 bunch of arugula (about 4 oz), chopped
  • 1 large tomato
  • ½ pint cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more fore drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup chopped parsley (a large handful)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 anchovy
  • Juice of ½ a lemon, plus extra wedges for serving
  • 1 anchovy filet
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F. Chop the eggplant and zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes, tossing halfway through, until completely soft and browned at the edges. Let cool.

While the eggplant and zucchini are roasting, place the potatoes in a pot and cover with water (we’re going to cook the beans with the potatoes in the came pot, so make sure it is big enough for both). My potatoes were quite varied sizes, so if that’t the case cut the larger ones in half or quarters so they match. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until a fork can easily pierce all the way through. In the last minute of cooking put the green beans in the pot. Drain both and let cool.

Chop the tomatoes and halve the cherry tomatoes. Combine them in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, start the motor and drop the garlic clove in from the top. When you can’t hear it bouncing around anymore stop the machine and wipe down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add in the olives, capers, parsley, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice from 1/2 a lemon, and anchovy fillet. Pulse a couple times, then scrape down the sides. Pulse again until the olives are uniformly chopped but not pureed.

Build salads with a base of arugula, topped with potatoes, roasted eggplant and zucchini, green beans, a few scoops of tomatoes, and a dollop of tapenade. Finish with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.

Potato, Tomato, and Leek Frittata

I’m not quite sure how I’ve spent this many years blogging and not posted a frittata recipe. Frittatas are my dinner when I don’t have a real plan, my lazy Sunday breakfast, and my special brunch dish. I guess there hasn’t been a recipe yet because I rarely make the same one twice. They are such a perfect repository for random vegetables, leftover meat or beans, whatever bits of cheese I have around, and even cooked pasta.

My basic rule is that I want the majority of the filling to be pre-cooked. Some raw vegetables are ok, but only raw vegetables makes it too likely that some will end up undercooked, or there will be too much water in your frittata. Since this has potatoes in it my husband was lobbying HARD for me to call this a TORtilla (my name is Tori, in case we’re just meeting). Sorry, Will.

My full share this week was holy basil, kale, young leeks, scallions, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, and tomatoes. I used the holy basil to make this ginger limeade – such a delight on hot days. Zucchini, scallions, and some basil from last week went into this fried zucchini pasta (I didn’t have parsley so that’s why I used scallions) alongside with sliced tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (could there BE a more summery meal??). I’ve been sticking shredded carrots everywhere: in slaws, on top of salads, and in sandwiches. What are you cooking?

Potato, Tomato, and Leek Frittata

Serves 4

  • 1 lb new potatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh leeks, or 2 regular large leeks (about 3 cups once sliced)
  • 1 large tomatoes (mine was 9 oz)
  • 2.5 oz salami or cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Sliced scallions or chives

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Halve and thinly slice the leeks. Put them in a salad spinner or a large bowl and cover with water. Swish around and then let sit for 5 minutes so all the dirt falls to the bottom. Using the strainer or with your hands, pick up the leeks without removing the water, so the dirt stays at the bottom of the bowl.

Heat a 12″ cast iron pan over medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil, then add the leeks. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add in the salami or bacon, cook for a couple minutes more, and then remove from the pan and turn off the heat.

While the leeks are cooking thinly slice the potatoes 1/4 inch thick and cover with cold water in a pot. Add a pinch of salt and bring it to a boil. Once boiling cook for 5 minutes, until the potatoes soften but are not breaking apart. Drain.

In a bowl beat the eggs with the milk and add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Slice the tomato into 1/4″ thick slices.

Turn the heat under the pan back up to medium high. Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan, and tilt so it coats the bottom evenly. Add a single layer of the cooked potatoes, and 1/2 the leek/salami mixture. Add another layer of potatoes, and the rest of the leek salami mixture. If you have any more potatoes put one more layer, then finish with the tomato slices. Pour the egg mixture evenly around the pan. Cook on the stovetop for 5 minutes, then place in the over. Cook for 10-15 more minutes, until the egg is completely set on top. Finish with scallions or chives and serve.

(If you want to be really extra, serve with a quick aioli: whisk 1/4 cup full fat mayo, 1 small grated garlic, and a pinch of salt.)