Photo from Jenny Park and Teri Lynn Fisher's blog, Spoon Fork Bacon.
JP tells me that this week's bag will contain shishito peppers and suggested that I feature them in the recipe.
Of Japanese origin, folks describe shishito peppers as grassy and citrusy, sweet and mild in taste. Except when they aren't.
Some say that about one in ten or twenty are hot, which makes them a fun kind of surprise. In Scoville heat units, they measure 50 – 200, meaning that at their hottest, they are still 13 times milder than jalapeños. Matt Bray of Pepper Scale writes that it's likely that the shishito has its roots in the padrón, another pepper which varies in heat. That pepper likely ended up in Spain in the 16th century from South America. He speculates that the Japanese soil mixed with continued growing of the mildest peppers likely converted the taste and heat to what we have today.
On the other hand, Sandi Gaertner writes in her Fearless Dining blog that "I have yet to find a hot one….and I have had at least four pints of shishito peppers in the past month in our farm box." Despite not finding any hot ones, they are still a favorite and she has recipes for a variety of chilled soups including pepper, pepper and mango and gazpacho, as well as for a shishito sauce to serve with chicken over cheesy polenta and a shishito stir fry.