What: The Blistered Shishito Peppers
Where: Appetito Cal-Italian Deli, 1700 S. Camino Real, No. 2, Palm Springs
How much: $4.95
Contact: 760-327-1929; appetitodeli.com
Why: They’re an example of delicious simplicity—with a side of adventure.
Appetito opened earlier this year in the long-vacant space in the Koffi building adjacent to the Ace Hotel, and has since been delighting foodies with its “Cal-Italian” fare, including panini, pasta dishes, pizzas and other goodies.
However, one of Appetito’s best menu items has its roots in neither Italy nor California—instead, it comes from Japan.
Shishitos are a long, thin, green pepper variety. They’re sweet, but you have to be careful when eating them: Every so often, you’ll come across a shishito that’s rather hot. So, hey: Consider eating shishitos to be an adventure!
Eating shishitos is also delight. These peppers are thin-skinned, which means they react wonderfully to heat: The skin chars, or blisters, leaving tasty goodness all around the pepper.
There’s not much to blistered shishitos—just the peppers, salt, a little oil and perhaps another flavoring agent here or there. (On our recent trip to Appetito, I kept getting hints of citrus; whether that was the pepper talking, or whether the talented folks in Appetito’s kitchen added a squeeze of juice during the cooking process, I am not sure. All I know is that it was yummy.)
Another great thing about the peppers: the price. For just $4.95, you get a whole bunch of them. They’re perfect to enjoy before the main course (say, a porchetta sandwich that’s packed with perfectly prepared roasted pork)—or on their own, perhaps paired with a negroni or something else from Appetito’s full bar.