Shishito Peppers with Smoky Paprika Aioli make a tasty appetizer that is pretty much the easiest thing I’ve made lately. It’s fun to put them out in front of a group of people and watch the addiction begin.
If you haven’t come across shishito peppers yet, keep your eyes peeled. It shouldn’t be hard to find them, whether at your farmer’s market or at your local Trader Joe’s (I’ve picked them up at both places). They’ve also popped up on the appetizer list at restaurants around the country: I had them in San Francisco about three years ago, and in Phoenix and Cleveland more recently.
These peppers are small, and they’re neither overly spicy nor sweet, but rest assured you’ll find at least a few in your batch that are on the spicier side. That’s part of the fun, right?
I cooked these peppers on a stovetop grill, but you could also blister them in a skillet. For dipping purposes, I whipped up an easy aioli that includes smoked paprika for extra flavor. You could serve them garnished simply with a bit of sea salt, but I think the aioli takes things over the top.
Next time you’re dining out or at the market, keep your eyes open for these babies. I’ve also seen Padrón peppers on menus at restaurants, and they’re very similar to shishitos.
If you’re a pepper lover, you’ll be excited to delight in Blistered Shishito Peppers with Smoky Paprika Aioli. If you’ve never really thought much about it before, these will win you over.
This is a great vegetarian appetizer option, and this is a naturally gluten-free dish, too. Sub out the regular mayonnaise in this recipe for vegan mayonnaise, and you’ve got yourself a vegan treat.
Recipe for Blistered Shishito Peppers with Smoky Paprika Aioli
INGREDIENTSFor the aioli
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 10 ounces shishito peppers (washed and dried thoroughly)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt for seasoning
INSTRUCTIONSFor the aioli
- Use a knife to cut up the smashed garlic as small as possible. Add the sea salt over the garlic and use the back of a knife to mash and mix it together until a paste forms.
- Add the mayonnaise to a bowl along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice, and the garlic paste. Mix to combine.
- Add the paprika (and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil if you think you need it to reach a thinner consistency) and mix again. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Place a grill pan on the stovetop over medium high heat.
- Add the clean and dry peppers to a bowl and toss with the olive oil.
- When the grill is hot, add the peppers and cook, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister and char slightly.
- Remove from the grill and transfer to a serving bowl. Season with the sea salt and serve warm with the aioli.