Marinated Feta with Pan-Roasted Shishito Peppers and Olives

Marinated Feta with Pan-Roasted Shishito Peppers and Olives
Staff Writer
Marinated Feta with Pan-Roasted Shishito Peppers and Olives

Viviane Bauquet Farre

Marinated Feta with Pan-Roasted Shishito Peppers and Olives

Shishito peppers are small Japanese sweet peppers; they're skinny and slightly twisted. They're picked young, while still green and only about three inches long. When growing my own I've never had a spicy one in the bunch, but when I've purchased them, about one in 10 peppers turns out to be hot. Also, I find that the smaller the peppers are, the less of a chance they'll be spicy. Of course, the most wonderful thing about these little peppers is their flavor — slightly smoky and sweet with a hint of bitterness.

They are delightful simply pan-sautéed with a little olive oil, served as a nibble or a side vegetable. But here, I serve them with feta, olives, and fresh thyme for a delectable hors d'oeuvre.

If you can't find shishito peppers at your farmers' market, look for them in Asian specialty stores — especially Korean markets, where you'll find them labeled as "twist peppers."

Ingredients

  • 4  Ounces  shishito peppers or mini sweet peppers
  • 2  Tablespoons  olive oil
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 8  Ounces  feta, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1  Cup  Kalamata olives
  • 2  Tablespoons  fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/3  Cup  extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Make a small slit in each pepper with a paring knife. (This will prevent them from bursting when they cook.) Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and line a tray with paper towels. When the pan is hot, add the oil and peppers and toss well. Sauté until golden brown and blistered, tossing only occasionally, for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to the paper towels and season with salt, to taste. Set aside.

Place the feta, olives, and roasted peppers in a wide bowl. Sprinkle with the thyme. Drizzle with the olive oil and gently turn the ingredients over with a spatula, being careful not to break the feta cubes. Let marinate at room temperature, for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour before serving.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
42g
60%
Sugar
1g
1%
Saturated Fat
7g
29%
Cholesterol
71mg
24%
Carbohydrate, by difference
7g
5%
Protein
11g
24%
Vitamin A, RAE
33µg
5%
Vitamin B-12
3µg
100%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
35mg
47%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
20µg
22%
Calcium, Ca
81mg
8%
Choline, total
7mg
2%
Fiber, total dietary
3g
12%
Fluoride, F
1µg
0%
Folate, total
6µg
2%
Iron, Fe
4mg
22%
Magnesium, Mg
25mg
8%
Niacin
2mg
14%
Phosphorus, P
95mg
14%
Selenium, Se
6µg
11%
Sodium, Na
398mg
27%
Water
104g
4%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Olive Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Olive Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.