Healthy & Easy Holiday Appetizer: Blistered Shishito Peppers with Roasted Tomato Aioli
Christmas is less than a week away. I for one, am totally stoked. Chris and I have lived in Los Angeles for over 8 months now, and while we've seen friends and family as many have made the trek out west to visit us, it's still a bit weird thinking about how long it's been since I've touched foot in good ole Tampa Bay. But tomorrow night, with an ever-so lovely red-eye flight, that will all change. Tampa, I've (kind, sorta, maybe) missed you. And in less than 48 hours, I can finally say, I'm home for the holidays!
In addition to seeing my Pops, who I haven't seen since moving to L.A...I'm also stoked to see my big brother. Not just because he's one of my favorite dudes on the planet but also because the guy knows how to get down in the kitchen. Yeah, I plan to milk it for all it's worth too. He doesn't even know it... lots of cuisine requests are about to hit him like a dang snow storm.
But, I do plan to help in the kitchen on Christmas day. Because as you all know, I am all about the apps. Oh yes...it's...all...about...the...apps. Let's face it. The cheesy, crunchy, and crispy hors d'oeuvres are just so much more exciting than the bird...or the ham...or if you're really lucky, the standing rib roast.
However, the appetizers are a huge chore in themselves! Especially if you're making enough for a crowd. And that is exactly why I am bringing you one of the most simple (and yes, healthy) holiday appetizers today. Seriously, blistered shishito peppers are addicting. They take less than 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish and people go absolutely nuts for the green beauties.
They also look pretty on a plate. Really pretty if you throw in a yummy creamy aioli with a hint of red to make it festive. I promise you, after making them this year, you'll make them every year. So delicious and so, insanely easy. They're *generally* not spicy either, so no worries about old Granny. Literally only 1 out of 50 is actually hot. Let's just pray grandma has good odds.
Blistered Shishito Peppers with Roasted Tomato and Garlic Aioli
1-2 pounds Shishito Peppers (I got mine from Frieda's Specialty produce but you can find them at Farmers Markets and many Whole Foods)
2 tablespoons Grapeseed oil (or another oil with high flame point)
Coarse Seat Salt
For the Aioli:
1/2 cup mayo (I LOVE Sir Kensington's brand)
1-2 cloves roasted garlic, minced (I just roast mine in the oven brushed with olive oil)
3 tablespoons chopped roasted tomatoes (I used pre-roasted tomatoes from a can)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper
1) Prepare aioli. Combine all ingredients into a food processor and blend.
2) Using either a cast iron pan or heavy steel pan, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. When it's glistening (about 2 minutes), add the peppers. Work in batches if needed. Using tongs, turn the peppers over after about 30 seconds.
3) Remove from heat and set on a paper-towel lined plate. Sprinkle (or grind) sea salt on top. I loosen my salt grinder so that it's extra coarse.
4) Plate with aioli.