My Sergeant Pepper
September 14, 2012
A few years ago I discovered shishitos—that’s right, shishitos, not sishitos or shisitos as I initially suspected (a Wikipedia search set me right). It was love at first bitter, salty, green bite. Since then I have eaten shishitos (and their hotter, even more delicious, Spanish cousins, Padrons) at every available opportunity. Tia Pol? It was the best part of my meal. Navy Beach in Montauk? I remain undecided about the addition of lime, and they were a little too fried for my taste, but still. And, of course, on the menu at pretty much every Brooklyn restaurant nowadays. I buy them by the pound (cheap, they are not) at the greenmarket; given a choice, I would eat them daily. And they are easy to maneuver: just throw some olive oil into a really hot pan, cook shishitos until they are just blistered (usually around five minutes), and sprinkle with coarse salt.
This summer my obsession reached its peak when I decided to attempt to grow shishitos myself. I totally bought into the marketing speak that claimed my beloved peppers were specifically vetted to flourish on rooftops in the city. There was some growth, yes, but flourish they did not—I got one and a half harvests from 2 plants, for a grand total of about 15 peppers… which is just about a half serving for me. So, back to the greenmarket I went! LARA B.