Every 10th pepper — Watch out!
These are exciting times in the city’s farmers’ markets, as the vegetables and fruits that take the longest to grow (eggplants, melons, dirt tomatoes, and peppers) begin to appear in profusion. The latest variety to be spotted is the Japanese shishito pepper, which may or may not be related to a similar pepper widely grown in Italy called frigarelle.
The peppers are two to three inches in length, and a bright shade of green unlike any you’ve ever seen before, tending toward the black and the yellow. The peppers are generally mild, but every 10th one or so is blisteringly hot. Eating a plate of these peppers is a species of Russian roulette for your glottal organ.
To cook, sautee in lots of olive oil (peanut oil works well, too) until the peppers puff somewhat and blister, then liberally salt with kosher or sea salt. They make a very nice pass-around snack at parties.
They’re so light, that $5 of them is plenty.