Peppers of all heat levels and hues abound in August. It’s a great time to splash out and sample varieties beyond your bell pepper comfort zone.
For a quick, economical snack, add peppers like Shishito or Padron into a blistering hot pan (cast iron, if you have it) with a drizzle of olive oil. Stir or toss as needed until the skins are marked with a few ebony spots. Sprinkle with flaky salt (smoked salt is nice, too), and devour. For more ideas, here's a shout out to other uses and recipes we recommend:
- Creamed Shishito Peppers from Serious Eats editor Sasha Marx. Disclosure: We intended to feature this recipe in our photo above, but abandoned the plan. This dip is homely. Our photography skills are limited. We ate it too fast. But please, try it! Our tips: Remove the bitter seeds from the peppers before cooking, and be sure to season the dip enough. Ours went from "meh" to "WOW!", all thanks to the right amount of salt. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.
- Pickle some peppers. Yes, Peter Piper had a point (forgive us)! Pickled peppers are a real thing, and they are fantastic. Use them on your tacos and charcuterie platters, chop finely and add to caesar salad dressing for a surprise kick, or eat them directly out of the jar, pausing to appreciate the slow burn for as long as you can stand it. Here's how we make them: Add 2 peeled, lightly smashed garlic cloves, 1¼ cups each of white wine vinegar and water, ¼ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons salt (we use Diamond Crystal kosher) to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Off the heat, add about 15 large jalapeños which you've sliced into rings (stems removed, seeds optional depending on your heat tolerance). Weigh them down to submerge them, and let stand for 15 minutes. Transfer to a large, clean 1-qt. jar with enough of the pickling liquid to fill the jar to ½ inch below the rim. Let cool, uncovered, to room temperature before securing a lid and storing them in the fridge for up to 3 months. Their heat will mellow slightly over time.
We hope you will explore the wide world of peppers. And if you want to dig into that peppers vs. chilis debate, google to your heart's content, and beware the rabbit hole!
Tag us with #TCKatHome when posting your intrepid pepper adventures. We're always here to help when you email us
with questions or feedback.