Several weeks ago some of the ladies at my office gathered for a simple wine night: wine, cheese, almonds… shishito peppers? One of my coworkers pulled out a bag, set a pan on the stove and set to work making us her current favorite snack. Considering that another attendee was wielding a knife for her everyday treat of red pepper slices, I guess it wasn’t THAT odd. (We’re a fun bunch, really.) (No, REALLY. Our next wine night is actually Four Flavors of Homemade Ice Cream Night, with Wine.)
This weekend, we’re headed out on a tiny adventure: a road trip to Half Moon Bay with stops for photos and exploring and lobster rolls. Of course I’ll be bringing all the usual car adventure snacks: almonds, crackers, cheese, apple slices. But what about something even MORE flavorful? My mind went straight back to those tasty peppers.
Have you tried shishito peppers yet? They’re a thin-skinned little pepper with a (mostly) mild flavor. Every so often you’ll get a spicy one, but not enough to turn this spice wimp off. For an even more flavorful snack, I made a simple dipping sauce that’s the perfect compliment.
These little guys are complete stunners, of course. Just like bell peppers, they color from green to red as they ripen.
Make sure you give them a nice rinse before using, but no other prep is necessary. You’ll want to leave the stems on- they make a nice little handle for when you’re eating them.
For the almond dipping sauce, grab some of these roasted and salted nuts. Try not to eat too many beforehand cause you’ll need a cup for the recipe. This might be tough.
To blister the peppers, add two tablespoons of sesame oil to a pan on medium high heat. (You can use olive oil if you prefer, but the sesame oil tastes lovely when paired with the dipping sauce.) Once the oil is hot, add about a half a pound (8 ounces) of peppers and cook on each side until blistered.
Expect it to take at least 10 minutes to get the peppers charred on each side. When the skin is blistered all the way around the pepper, remove from the heat and sprinkle with kosher salt (and sesame seeds, if you really want to get your flavor on).
- 1 cup Blue Diamond Roasted Salted Almonds
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until combined.
- I like a slightly chunky sauce, so I used a food processor and stopped short of a creamy sauce. Go ahead and make it creamier if you like!
- The sauce also makes a killer salad dressing- thin it out with extra virgin olive oil if needed.
The dipping sauce is SO tasty you might not have any left over. But, if you do, it’s perfect for an on-the-go snack when paired with crudites, as a salad dressing or on meat/seafood (think Chicken Satay). I was so taken with it’s tangy, almond, umami flavor I threw it on some grilled shrimp skewers.
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