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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Vegetables/Salads/Fresh Herbs

RECIPE: Carrot Pasta

While we’re enjoying the warmth of Indian Summer, Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog suggests these raw, vegetable-based noodles made from carrots.

Inspired by classic cold sesame noodles, delicate strands of carrots and cucumbers mingle together in crisp tangles of “pasta,” as vibrant as they are flavorful.

Instead of peanut sauce based on peanut butter, Hannah substitutes cashew butter for a different take on the nutty, lightly spiced sauce.

“Deceptively simple in composition,” says Hannah, “it doesn’t sound like anything particularly special on paper, but one taste and you’ll be hooked on the creamy cashew elixir. Lavish it over everything from salads to grilled tofu and beyond. Although you may end up with more than you need for this particular dish, trust me: It won’t be a struggle to polish off the excess in short order.”

Note that this recipe comes together very quickly but needs to be eaten as soon as it’s made. The recipe makes 2-3 main dish servings or 4-5 side servings.


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Cut the carbs and add the protein: carrot “pasta” in cashew sauce. Photo courtesy Hannah Kaminsky.



Ingredients For The Cashew Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons smooth cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons light agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon sriracha (or other hot sauce)
    For The Carrot Pasta

  • 5 Large carrots, peeled and shredded with a julienne peeler or spiral grater
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and shredded with a julienne peeler or spiral grater
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup toasted cashews, roughly chopped

    spiral grater

    A spiral grater, also called a spiralizer. Photo
    courtesy Microplane.



    1. PREPARE the sauce. This can be done up to 2 weeks in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Place the cashew butter in a medium bowl and slowly add the vegetable broth, stirring constantly to loosen and smooth out the thick paste. Add the remaining ingredients, whisk thoroughly until homogeneous and set aside.

    2. MAKE the carrot and cucumber “noodles.” Toss them together with half of the sauce; for easier mixing, use your hands. Add more sauce as needed, toss in the scallions and move to a serving plate.

    3. TOP with chopped cashews and serve.




    TIP OF THE DAY: Fall Fruits & Vegetables

    Have you seen a huckleberry up close and personal? The photo shows the fruit that gave Huckleberry Finn his nickname.

    It’s a fall fruit, a good choice for today, the first day of fall. As summer fades, so does the large assortment of fruits and vegetables. Rather than pay more for imported produce that is picked early for better travel (if not better flavor), look for the fruits and vegetables harvested in fall (the list is below).

    On a related note, October 6, 2015 marks the first National Fruit at Work Day, a celebration of the importance of healthy snacking in the workplace. In fact, more than 50% of one’s daily food intake is consumed at the office—and there’s too much temptation from foods that aren’t on the “good for you” list.

    This new annual holiday, observed on the first Tuesday in October, is devoted to honoring the food that successfully fuels a busy workday: fruit.

    The holiday was established by The FruitGuys, America’s first office fruit provider and part of the employee wellness movement since 1998. They use a large network of small local farmers to provide farm fresh fruit to workplaces nationwide.

    Here’s what’s in season for fall. Not everything may be available in your area, but what is there should be domestic—not imported from overseas.



    The huckleberry is in the same botanical family (Ericaceae) as blueberries and cranberries, and look similar appearance to blueberries. Their color may range instead from deep crimson to eggplant purple. Photo courtesy

    Some of the items are harvested for only a few weeks; others are around for a while.

    So peruse the list, note what you don’t want to miss out on, and add it to your shopping list. To find the more exotic varieties, check international markets that specialize in Chinese, Latin American and other regional specialties. You can also look for online purveyors like

    The produce list was created by Produce for Better Health Foundation. Take a look at their website,, for tips on better meal planning with fresh produce.

    We’ve also featured their spring produce and summer produce recommendations, with the winter list coming in December.

  • Acerola/Barbados cherries
  • Asian pear
  • Black crowberries
  • Cactus pear (a.k.a. nopal, prickly pear, sabra)
  • Cape gooseberries
  • Crabapples
  • Cranberries
  • Date plum (a.k.a. Caucasian persimmon and lilac persimmon)
  • Feijoa (a.k.a. acca or pineapple guavas)
  • Huckleberries
  • Jujube (a.k.a. Chinese date, Indian date, Korean date or red date—see photo below)

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/jujubes FrankCMuller wiki 230r


    TOP: In the U.S. Jujubes are a brand of hard gummy candies. In Australia and India the word is generic for a variety of confections. Here’s the real deal, cultivated in China for more than 4,000 years—and often eaten dried and candied. They may look like tiny dates, but are from an entirely difficult botanical family*. Photo by Frank C. Muller | Wikimedia. BOTTOM: Cardoons are wild artichokes. They look like celery, but with leaves that look like tarragon. Photo courtesy

  • Key limes
  • Kumquats
  • Muscadine grapes
  • Passionfruit
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate
  • Quince
  • Sapote
  • Sharon fruit (a variety of persimmon)
  • Sugar apple (a.k.a. sugar apple or sweetsop)

  • Acorn squash
  • Black salsify
  • Belgian endive
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butter lettuce
  • Buttercup squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Cardoon
  • Cauliflower
  • Chayote squash
  • Chinese long beans
  • Delicata squash
  • Daikon radish
  • Endive
  • Garlic
  • Hearts of palm
  • Jalapeño chiles
  • Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushrooms
  • Ong choy water spinach
  • Pumpkins
  • Radicchio
  • Sunflower kernels
  • Sweet dumpling squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips

    *Jujube, Ziziphus jujuba, is a member of the buckthorn family, Rhamnaceae. Dates, Phoenix dactylifera, are a member of the palm tree family, Arecaceae.



    FOOD FUN: Mac & Cheese Potato Skins

    The fun thing about mash-ups is that the combinations are endless. But we didn’t have to go too far to find this great combo: mac and cheese potato skins.

    We sighted them on Tony Roma’s Facebook page and promptly made some macaroni and cheese so we could then whip up a batch of potato skins.



  • 8 russet potatoes (about 3 inches long, total weight 2-1/4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), melted
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (about 4 ounces) shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • Mac and cheese
  • Garnishes: crumbled crisp bacon, minced chives

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/mac and cheese potato skins tonyromasFB 230sq1

    Mac and cheese potato skins. Photo courtesy Tony Roma’s.



    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/russet norkotah 2 230r

    Russet potatoes. Photo courtesy Burpee.



    1. SCRUB and thoroughly dry the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle.

    2. PIERCE each potato several times with a fork or the point of a sharp knife. Place the potatoes directly on the middle rack and bake until the skins are crisp and a knife easily pierces the potatoes, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. While the potatoes bake and cool…

    3. MAKE the macaroni and cheese.

    4. SLICE each baked potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch layer of potato on the inside of the skin. Reserve the scooped potato; you can use it for gnocchi, mashed potatoes, potato cakes or potato soup.


    5. BRUSH the insides of the potatoes with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Then do the same with the skin sides. Set the oven to broil.

    6. SPACE the potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Broil until the butter foams and the skins start to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning). Then flip and broil until the top edges just begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

    7. FILL each skin with macaroni and cheese and crumbled bacon. Garnish with bacon and chives and serve immediately.



    FOOD FUN: Mac & Cheese Potato Skins

    Many people enjoy crunchy potato skins filled with with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onions.

    But at Tony Roma’s, they switch out the cheddar and sour cream for macaroni and cheese. You can make the mac and cheese from scratch, or use leftover mac and cheese.



  • Small baking potatoes
  • Melted butter
  • Mac and cheese
  • Garnishes: crisp diced bacon, minced chives or
    thinly-sliced green onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • Beer!


    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/mac and cheese potato skins tonyromasFB 230sq

    Mac & cheese potato skins. Photo courtesy Tony Roma’s.

    1. PLACE the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F.

    2. PIERCE each potato several times with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife and place on the oven rack. Bake until the skins are crisp and easily pierced with a knife or cake tester, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool about 10 minutes.

    3. SET the oven to broil. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh around the skins. Reserve the scooped flesh for another use (e.g. mashed potatoes).

    4. BRUSH the insides of the potatoes with melted butter; season with salt and pepper. Flip the skins and repeat.

    5. SPACE the potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Broil until the butter foams and the skins start to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes, watching so they don’t burn. Flip the skins over and broil until the top edges begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

    6. REMOVE from the oven and fill each skin with mac and cheese and bacon. Place under the broiler and broil until the cheese bubbles, about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and top each skin with chives or green onion. Serve immediately.



    RECIPE: Green Bean Salad

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    Serve this green bean salad as a first course,
    chilled or at room temperature. Photo
    courtesy Distilled NY.


    Green beans are a popular year-round vegetable. Only broccoli ranks higher among the green veggies.

    According to Produce Pete, green beans (also called snap beans) are best in early winter, early summer and early fall, when they are the most tender.

    Select small to medium-sized pods that are velvety-looking and bright green, with no signs of wilting or wrinkling. Don’t think that bigger is better.

    Choose the smaller beans: They’ll be sweeter and more tender. Long, thicker beans have been left on the vine too long, and can be tough and tasteless.

    Fresh green beans should be tender enough to eat raw, and should have a crisp snap when you break them apart. If they’re rubbery and bend, pass them by.

    One our favorite green been salads is Niçoise-style: lightly steamed beans, red onion, halved cherry tomatoes and anchovies in a mustard vinaigrette, garnished with quartered hard-boiled eggs.

    You can also add boiled potatoes. Served at room temperature, it’s always a hit and is an excellent buffet dish as well.

    For people who don’t like anchovies or onions, we adapted this salad (photo above, recipe below) from Chef Sean Lyons at Distilled NY, in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan. You can serve it as a first course or a side, lightly chilled or at room temperature.


    Ingredients For 4-5 Servings

  • 1 pound green beans
  • Tabbouleh, other grain salad (barley, rice, quinoa, etc.), or bean or lentil salad
  • 6-8 ounce container plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey mustard or sweetened plain Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Vinaigrette (recipe)
  • Garnish: Kalamata or Picholine olives -or – 1/4 pound firm white cheese*
    *Use feta, smoked mozzarella, ricotta salata or whatever your store has that can be cut into cubes.



    1. STEAM the green beans, ideally lightly so they still have a bit of crunch. Set aside.

    2. PREPARE the base salad. You can make corn corn relish, bean or grain salad. We saved time by purchasing tabbouleh and adding corn kernels.

    3. BLEND the sauce ingredients—yogurt, mustard, mayonnaise. You can tailor this to your tastes; for example, sour cream instead of yogurt, mustard and mayonnaise to taste. You want to get mild to medium mustard flavor.

    4. PREPARE the vinaigrette. We particularly like walnut or hazelnut oil with this salad, although olive oil is fine. Toss to lightly coat the string beans.

    5. USE a silicone barbecue brush to paint a swath of mustard sauce on one side of the plate or shallow bowl. Add the tabbouleh in an angle as shown. Place the green beans atop the tabbouleh.

    6. GARNISH as desired.


    Fresh Green Beans

    Green beans, also called snap beans, were bread from the older string beans. Photo courtesy Burpee.



    Green beans were formerly called string beans, because they originally had a string of tough fiber that ran the entire length of the bean. You had to remove the string from each and every bean before cooking.

    The inconvenient string was bred out over time, and people began to refer to the stringless beans as snap beans or green beans. But people who learned the name from their parents or grandparents may still use the old name.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Regrow Scallions From The Roots


    These scallions were re-grown from the sliced-off root ends. Photo courtesy Hidden
    Valley | Facebook.


    Nobody eats the roots of green onions or leeks, a sprouting bulb of garlic and other vegetable discards. They end up as landfill.

    But you can regrow some vegetable scraps in water, as long as you have a little sunlight.

    We saw this tip on Hidden Valley’s Facebook page and then did further research, ending up on A reader’s comments on that site advises:

    After the new plants have started, you can keep growing them in water or else transfer them to soil so they’ll pick up nutrients and become more flavorful.

  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Romaine
  • Scallions (Green Onions)
    Try it both ways—water and soil—and see what works for you. Make it your “indoor farming” project for fall.

    Here’s how to do it from



    RECIPE: Baked Acorn Squash With Wild Rice

    September 7th is National Acorn Squash Day. If today’s weather is to warm for roasting, plan to make it on the next cool day.

    You can serve stuffed acorn squash as a first course, or as a main along with a protein and a green vegetable or salad.

    This recipe is from USA Pears, which has many recipes on its website.


    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 3 acorn squash
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • ¾ cup wild rice
  • 1½ cups canned low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/pear stuffed acorn squash USAPears 230

    Baked acorn squash is stuffed with wild rice, nuts, fruits and herbs. Photo courtesy USA Pears.

  • 2 firm Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into ½-inch dice (substitute
    Granny Smith apples)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries


    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Toast the nuts to bring out their full flavor. Place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350°F oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes. When the nuts come out, the squash goes in.

    2. CUT each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. If necessary, trim the top and bottom so that the squash will be level, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up.

    3. SPRINKLE each half with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. Dot each half wit butter, using 3 tablespoons. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake the squash just until moist and tender, about 45 minutes.


    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/acorn duo beauty goodeggs 230

    The first acorn squash of the season. Photo courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco.


    4. COMBINE the rice, broth, salt and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. When the rice is done most of the water should be evaporated.

    5. HEAT the olive oil in a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Swirl to coat the pan and sauté the onion, garlic, celery and carrot until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pears and sauté 2 minutes longer. Cover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-low and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, 3 minutes longer. Add the sage, thyme and parsley and sauté 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.

    6. COMBINE the cooked rice, sautéed vegetables, pears, walnuts, and dried cranberries in a large bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Mound the rice mixture into the squash halves, dividing it evenly. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces. Dot each stuffed squash with butter. Cover with foil. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.


    Acorn squash (Cucurbita pepo var. turbinata) is a member of the Cucurbitaceae botanical family, which also includes cucumber, gourds, other winter squash (including pumpkin), summer squash (including zucchini and yellow squash) and watermelon.

    Known for its acorn shape, hard green skin (often with a splotch of orange) and deep, longitudinal ridges. Inside is sweet, yellow-orange flesh. While the most common variety is dark green in color, newer varieties have been developed, including the yellow- and white-skinned varieties.

    Acorn squashes typically weigh one to two pounds and are between four and seven inches long. Before modern refrigeration, acorn squash was a hardy variety to store throughout the winter. It kept for several months in a cool dry location, such as a cold cellar or a root cellar.

    Acorn squash are indigenous to Central America, and were cultivated by pre-Columbian natives (Mayas, Aztecs and their predecessors) as long as 8,000 years ago. Initially, only the seeds were eaten since the flesh was considered too hard. The flesh layer at the time was much thinner than modern-bred varieties, so not worth the trouble. Today, it is flesh that is prized and the seeds that are typically thrown away!

    Squash traveled north and across what is now the U.S., where it was cultivated and highly prized. The seeds were dried for eating during lean times, or as portable food for travelers.

    The Pilgrims encountered it upon their arrival in Massachusetts. The locals called the fruit askutasquash, which gave way to the English word “squash.”

    Squash became a staple of colonial gardens. Both Washington and Jefferson, among many others, grew squash on their plantations and farms. Today, while other Colonial garden items have come and gone (horehound, lovage, orach and peppergrass, purslane, sea kale and others), squash remains on the popular vegetable list.




    RECIPE: Lyonnaise Salad With Bacon & Eggs

    You may know Lyonnaise potatoes, sliced pan-fried potatoes and thinly sliced onions, sautéed in butter with parsley; Rosette de Lyon, a cured rosy saucisson (French pork sausage); and Lyonnaise sauce, a brown sauce for roasted or grilled meat and poultry, made with white wine, vinegar and onions.

    Some of our favorites from the area include as coq au vin and quenelles (a mouselline of pike in cream sauce—the more elegant cousin of gefilte fish)*.

    And now, there’s the classic Salade Lyonnaise (pronounced lee-owe-NEZ), which combines frisée lettuce with bacon, croutons and a poached egg—a great combination of flavors and textures.

    Since the recipe uses raw eggs, pasteurized eggs are a worry-free solution (here’s more about pasteurized eggs and the 12 popular foods where you should consider them to eliminate the Salmonella risk).

    Prep time is 20 minutes; total time is 35 minutes.


    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 extra-thick bacon slices
  • 12 asparagus spears, trimmed (optional)
  • 3 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 pasteurized eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
  • 5 cups frisée salad greens
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


    Lyonnaise Salad with bacon and eggs: Perfect for brunch or lunch. Photo courtesy


    1. CUT bacon strips into 2 x 1/2-inch pieces. Cook in skillet over medium heat about 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Meanwhile…

    2. BRING 2 inches water to boil in wide saucepan or skillet. Cook the asparagus for 3-4 minutes or just until crisp-tender. Immediately drop the asparagus into bowl of cold water to cool. Drain on paper towels.

    3. WHISK together in small bowl the vinegar, oil, garlic, salt, pepper and mustard. Set aside.

    4. FILL a deep saucepan or large sauté pan half full with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add 1/2 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice. Crack eggs individually into small custard cup or bowl and gently ease eggs into water, one at a time, holding cup as low as possible so yolk doesn’t break. Use a spoon to gather whites around yolks of each egg and continue to simmer about 3 minutes, or to desired doneness.

    5. ASSEMBLE the salad: Mound greens in center of each plate. Arrange the asparagus over the greens and sprinkle with bacon. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Carefully place a poached egg on top of each salad. Offer salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


  • Use 2-1/2 cups frisée and 2-1/2 cups dark kale leaves, cut into ribbons, or baby kale, in place of all frisée.
  • Substitute green beans for asparagus.
  • Here’s another version of the recipe.
    *Here’s more about Lyonnaise cuisine.


    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/frisee hy 230

    A head of frisée. Photo courtesy



    Frisée has very narrow, curly pale leaves that grow in a bush-like cluster and are feathery in appearance. The name means “curly” and the lettuce is sometimes called curly endive.

    Frisée is a member of the chicory genus of lettuces, which includes endive. Chicories are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals—especially folate and vitamins A and K.

    Frisée is often included in mesclun and other salad mixes. It is extremely labor-intensive to grow, and therefore one of the costliest salad ingredients. For that reason, it isn’t a conventional supermarket item, but can be found at upscale markets and purveyors of fine produce.

    Frisée has a distinctive flavor and a delightful bitterness—less bitter than its cousins endive and radicchio. Its exotic feathery appearance has great eye appeal.

    Tips For Using Frisée

  • As with many salad greens, tear it rather cut it with a knife, or the edges may brown. Tear it shortly before use.
  • The tough, external leaves are best used as a plate garnish or fed to the gerbil.
  • Dress the salad right before bringing it to the table, so that it doesn’t discolor or become waterlogged.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Shishito Chile (Or Pepper Or Chile Pepper)

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    Before cooking, bright green. Photo


    The shishito pepper is a relative newcomer to American cuisine. Finger-shaped, slender and sweet (not hot), it is growing in popularity as a snack, blistered on the stove top or grill.

    The shishito is named after its shape: The tip of the chili pepper was seen to resemble the head of a lion (shishi) and the word for chile is togarashi. Combine the words into shishitogarashi, which is often shortened to shishito (pronounced she-SHE-toe).

    Bred in Japan, this East Asian variety of the New World Capsicum annuum, like many chiles, is harvested when green. It would turn red if left to ripen on the vine (that’s the difference between green and red jalapeños).

    While shishitos are mild, every so often a hot one will surprise you. We found one estimate that heat can occur in one out of every ten chiles, the anomaly attributed by one botanist to “stress on the vine.” Think of eating shishitos as a fun game, “Shishito Roulette.” The winners gets an extra beer!

    The shishito is very similar to the Spanish padrón chile, in both looks and flavor. So if you can find the latter but not the former, use the information below and cook away.

    Where to find them? We found ours at Trader Joe’s, and have also seen them at farmers markets. If you garden, you can grow your own.


    If you can make roasted or charred vegetables of any kind, you can cook shishito peppers.

  • Poke a tiny hole in each chile so they don’t burst from the build-up of hot air inside, or skewer them for grilling. We used a cake tester to poke a hole in the bottom cleft of each chile, although it won’t be visible after cooking so you can poke it anywhere.
  • Sauté the chiles in oil in a hot pan on the stove top, under the broiler, or on a grill. We used canola oil with a splash of dark sesame oil (it’s a strong flavor and you’ll want just a hint).
  • Turn the chiles frequently until they are blistered all over, 10 to 15 minutes. Because the walls of the shishito are thin, they cook quickly. When cooked, toss with a bit of salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
  • You can also roast them in an oven or toaster oven.
  • To eat, pick up a chile by its stem (but you won’t want to eat the stem). If you want to be elegant, use chopsticks or a fork.
  • Enjoy while hot; as they cool, the chiles lose their crispness.
  • If you want to add some spice, the ideal one is Japanese 7 Spice, shichimi togarashi. It’s a blend of black and/or white sesame seeds, dried nori seaweed, hot red pepper, ginger, orange peel and other ingredients such as hemp seed, poppyseed and white pepper. You can blend your own or buy it.


  • Appetizers and sides. Shishitos are popular in Japanese cuisine as appetizers, like edamame.
  • Deep-fried. If you like fried food, deep-fry them and serve with a wedge of lemon. (Go ahead, bring out the ketchup, too.)
  • Tempura. Serve as a tempura snack or as part of a tempura entrée.
  • With a beer. A match made in heaven.
  • With a yogurt dip. Blend 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 1 to 2 teaspoons Sriracha or other hot sauce.
  • Sandwiches. Add a cooked shishito between the bread of a grilled cheese sandwich or pannini.
  • Breakfast. Slice and add the cooked chiles to an omelet or scrambled eggs, a good use for leftovers that are no longer crisp.
  • Salad. Ditto.
  • Side. Serve in medley with other roasted vegetables.


    Cooked: delightful! Photo courtesy Nutmeg Granny, who sautés her shishitos in coconut oil. Here’s her recipe.


    Chiles were “discovered” in the Caribbean by Christopher Columbus, who called them “peppers” (pimientos, in Spanish) because of their fiery similarity to the black peppercorns with which he was familiar.

    However, there is no relationship between the two plants (or between chiles and Szechuan pepper, for that matter).

    “Pepper” is wrong, but in the U.S., it seems to have taken over. Some people use “chile pepper,” a bit of a correction.

    The term “pepper” is not used in Latin America. There, the word is chili, from chilli, the word in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs.

    But, we’d rather hear the partially incorrect “chile pepper” than the totally incorrect wrong “pepper.”

    Here’s more on the history of chiles.

    Is It Chile, Chili or Chilli?

    The original Nahuatl (Aztec) word is chilli. The conquering Spanish spelled it chile.

    In the U.K., chilli is the popular spelling. In the U.S., many people use chili, a seeming middle ground between chilli and chile.

    The choice is yours. We choose “chile” because it’s the spelling by which Europeans were introduced to the chilli.

    How many types of chiles have you had? Check them out in our Chile Glossary.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Roasted Peach & Chicken Salad

    Chicken Salad Grilled Peaches

    Inspired feasting: grilled chicken salad with
    grilled peaches. Photo courtesy Good


    There are so many ways to approach an entrée salad. This suggestion, from our favorite artisan grocer, Good Eggs of San Francisco, combines grilled proteins with grilled fruit. (They can be oven-roasted instead.)

    Good Eggs also suggests that instead of an all-green salad, you add whole grains for fiber, texture and flavor.

    Grilled or roasted, the season’s peaches add a wallop of sweet juiciness to a salad. If the peaches in your store aren’t great, you can substitute apricots, mangoes, pluots or nectarines (all are stone fruits like peaches; see details below).

    We happened to have some beautiful red rice from Lundberg on hand, and used it in our first version of this recipe (a hit!).


    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 peaches, ripe but still firm
  • 1 cup whole grains (see list below)
  • 2 cups mixed greens (we include 1/3 cup spicy greens like
    arugula and watercress, or radishes)
  • Optional: 3-4 tablespoons basil, cilantro and/or parsley,
  • For The Dressing

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac or za’atar, or a combination of lemon zest and crushed red pepper flakes (more about sumac and za’atar)
  • Optional: minced herbs (some of what you use in the salad)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    For Serving

  • Crusty bread
  • Olive oil for dipping, seasoned per taste*
    *Use infused olive oil (basil, garlic, rosemary, etc.) or season your own with dried herbs and spices.



    1. MAKE the yogurt dressing. Blend the ingredients and refrigerate to let the flavors meld. You can make this a day in advance. If the dressing is too thick at room temperature, thin it a tablespoon at a time with milk or plain kefir.

    2. GRILL the chicken breasts and sliced peaches, or roast them at 400°F, for 20 minutes. You can grill the bread at the same time. When cool enough to work with, shred or julienne the chicken.

    3. COOK the grains to al dente; you don’t want mushy grains with your crisp greens. While the grains are cooking, wash and pat dry the greens.

    4. TOSS and plate the chicken, cooked grains, salad greens and herbs. Garnish with the peaches. Pass the yogurt dressing.

    Whole grains that are common in the U.S. include barley, buckwheat, bulghur, corn, oats, quinoa, rice (only colored rice, e.g. black, brown, red), rye, wild rice and whole wheat.


    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/red quinoa spoon pour 230

    Read this if you need to be convinced of the benefits of whole grains. Photo of red quinoa courtesy Village Harvest.

    Whole grains that are less commonly used in the U.S. include amaranth, einkorn, farro/emmer wheat, freekeh, Kamut® Khorasan wheat, kañiwa (a cousin of quinoa), millet, sorghum, teff and triticale.

    Learn more about these grains at

    Stone fruits exist in two different botanical families. The temperate climate-based Rosales order, Rosaceae family, includes what we think of as European stone fruits plus almonds, pecans and walnuts. The tropical/subtropical-based order Sapindales, family Sapindaceae, includes familiar fruits, nuts and spices such as cashew, lychee, mango, mastic, pistachio and sumac.

    Stone fruits from the Rosaceae family are members of the Prunus genus, and include apricots, cherries, nectarines, olives, peaches, plums, and cherries and cross-breeds such as apriums, plumcots and pluots.

    A stone fruit, also called a drupe, is a fruit with a large, hard stone (pit) inside a fleshy fruit. The stone is often thought of as the the seed, but the seed is actually inside the stone.

    In fact, almonds, cashews, pecans and walnuts are examples of the seeds inside the stones. They’re also drupes, but a type in which we eat the seed inside the pit instead of the surrounding fruit.

    Not all drupes are stone fruits. The coconut is also a drupe, as are bramble fruits such as blackberries and raspberries. June through September is prime stone fruit season in the U.S.

    Enough botany for you?



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