Say hello to my new favorite dish: blistered shishito peppers with avocado crema dipping sauce. This recipe is a snap to throw together. Shishito peppers take well to a broiler’s high heat, which cooks them quickly, but they can also be roasted or grilled if you prefer.

A platter of broiled shishito peppers with avocado cream.

This recipe for blistered shishito peppers with avocado crema comes from Susan Spungen’s new cookbook, Open Kitchen, which I wrote about last month. Just like Susan’s recipe for “Grilled” Romaine Ceasar Salad, this one is equally simple, delicious, and stunning.

Truly, this has to be one of the easiest of easy appetizers I have ever made. In a nutshell, you:

  1. Purée an avocado with a few tablespoons of yogurt and fresh lime juice in a food processor until completely smooth. Spread this creamy mixture over a platter.
  2. Broil Shishito peppers for 1 to 2 minutes a side or until charred to your liking.
  3. Tumble the peppers atop your crema-schmeared platter.
  4. Season with Aleppo pepper (if you have it) and sea salt to taste.

This is the kind of dish that will have you dreaming of a future dinner party, of having friends once again gathered around your table, surrounding this inviting platter, arms reaching in one after another, plucking shimmering, sea salt-flecked peppers from the heap, swiping them through the bright, tangy avocado purée.

Oh to entertain again! Silver lining: in the meantime, you can make this dish all for yourself and relish not having to share it with anyone, because I assure you: you will not want to. I could eat this whole platter alone.

I recommend serving it aside a bowl of chips + a margarita. Maybe call dinner done?

Shishito Peppers

Once a vegetable only to be found in trendy restaurants, Shishitos are now readily available everywhere: ShopRite, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods. (At least where I am … I hope you, too, are finding Shishitos in your produce aisles?)

Shishitos, like Padrón peppers, are small, green, and thin walled. They take well to high heat, fast cooking, and showers of sea salt. They are not spicy.

How to Cook Shishito Peppers

There are various ways to cook Shishito peppers, all of which share one common trait: high heat.

  • Broil: My preferred tool for blistering Shishitos is the broiler, because I find I can get a great char using a tiny amount of oil without smoking out my kitchen.
  • Grill: Heat a grill to high heat. If you have a grilling vegetable basket, I highly recommend using it here to ensure your peppers don’t fall through the grates. Grill covered for 2-4 minutes total, checking every minute or so to ensure they shishitos aren’t charring too quickly.
  • Roast: If you have convection, use it. Heat your oven to its hottest setting (550ºF if possible). Roast for 5 minutes; then check, give your pan a shake, and continue roasting until the peppers are charred to your liking, a minute or two more.
  • Sauté: In a large sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of grapeseed oil over high heat. When it shimmers, add the peppers. Leave them alone for 1 minutes; then check. As soon as the peppers begin charring, flip each one over and cook for another minute or until charred to your liking.

PS: Blistered Green Beans (addictive!)

PPS: Blistered Broccoli (also addictive!)

A cookbook, Open Kitchen, on the counter.

Here’s the blistered shishito play-by-play: Combine an avocado, a few tablespoons of yogurt, and fresh lime juice in a food processor. Season with salt and Aleppo pepper (if you have it).

A food processor filled with avocados, yogurt, and peppers.

Purée until smooth. Taste. Add more salt and lime to taste.

A food processor filled with puréed avocado cream.

Plop the purée into the center of a large platter; then …

A platter with a spoonful of avocado cream in the center.

… schmear using the back of a spoon.

A platter spread with avocado cream.

Heat the broiler to high. Toss the shishitos with …

A board topped with shishito peppers.

… olive oil and a generous pinch of salt on a sheet pan. Spread into an even layer; then broil 2-3 minutes a side or until …

A sheetpan lined with foil, topped with shishito peppers tossed in olive oil and seasoned with salt.

… blistered to your liking.

A sheetpan of broiled shishito peppers.

Tumble the peppers onto the platter and season with Aleppo pepper (if you have it) and sea salt to taste. Serve immediately. Chips + a margarita are never a bad idea.

A platter of broiled shishito peppers with avocado cream.

I’ve been loving having a stash of Aleppo pepper on hand. It’s very nice with this spatchcocked chicken with dates and artichokes, and it’s a really nice touch with the blistered shishitos as well.

A bag of Aleppo Pepper aside a bowl of Aleppo pepper.
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A platter of broiled shishito peppers with avocado cream.

Blistered Shishito Peppers with Avocado Crema


  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 10 mintues
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minute
  • Yield: Serves 4 as an appetizer

Description

From Susan Spungen’s new book: Open Kitchen

Aleppo pepper has a nice smoky flavor, with a subtle kick, too. If you don’t have Aleppo pepper, a pinch of cayenne, though much spicier than Aleppo pepper, would be a nice touch here.


Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
  • flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, to taste
  • Aleppo pepper, if you have it, see notes above
  • 12 oz shishito peppers
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Heat the broiler to high. Line a sheet pan with foil. 
  2. Combine the avocado, yogurt, lime juice, pinch sea salt, and pinch Aleppo pepper, if using, in a food processor. Process until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor as needed. Taste. Add more salt or lime juice to taste. Spread this avocado crema over a large platter.
  3. Spread the shishito peppers over a sheet pan. Toss with the 2 teaspoons olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Spread into an even layer. Transfer pan to the broiler. Broil 2 minutes. Check. If shishitos are looking nicely charred, remove pan. If not, cook for another minute or until peppers look charred to your liking. Remove pan. Flip peppers. Return pan to broiler, and broil another 1-2 minutes or until charred to your liking. Watch the entire time to ensure they don’t blister beyond repair. 
  4. Remove pan and tumble the peppers over top of the platter smeared with avocado crema. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and sea salt to taste. Serve immediately, passing more lime on the side if you wish. 
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Broiler, Food Processor
  • Cuisine: Mexican, American

Keywords: broiled, blistered, shishito, peppers, avocado, crema