Grilled Shishito Peppers with Tahini Cardamom Sauce

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grilled shishito peppers on a slate board

Take a moment.

It’s difficult, I know. Life here is focused on being busy, doing lots of work, consuming as much as possible, and hey, don’t forget to exercise. We schedule relaxation in and track it with apps. We feel guilty for even a smidgen of downtime, for not celebrating holidays the “right” way, for not doing whatever someone else down the street is doing.

Take a moment.

The other evening I was sitting on the sofa, working on a project after the kids had gone to bed. Flashes of light outside grabbed my attention every few minutes; the fireflies were doing their dance in the yard. Last year was the first in many that we had seen fireflies, but we hadn’t realized they were gone until they returned.

Yet, here I was, plopped down with the computer, chalking up the fireflies as a distraction. Not celebrating the fleeting moment by watching them and nothing else. Not sitting outside, drinking in how the world winds down for the night. Sometimes it quite literally is the little things.

Grilled shishito peppers plated,  horizontal

Taking a moment in our house often means celebrating the simplest preparations of food. From a bowl of bright, unadorned strawberries to the crackled crust on a roasted potato. I like fussy foods too, to be sure, but celebrating individual ingredients helps me appreciate how lucky we are to have such a wide array of flavors at our disposal.

I’ve been obsessed with shishito peppers for a while, and as soon as they arrive at the summer debutant market I whisk a basket away for the first dance. All they need is some time on the grill and, if you like, a sauce to dip them into.

If you’ve never had grilled shishito peppers, they are generally very mild, though every once in a while you’ll win the pepper lottery and get a hot one. Since they are so small, the are poppable, and don’t blame me if you eat the entire batch at once.

Grilled Shishito Peppers

Grilled Shishito Peppers with Tahini Cardamom Sauce

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes

Grilled shishito peppers are a simple appetizer to round out your flame-broiled meal.


  • 1 pound shishito peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Coarse smoked salt
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch fine sea salt


  1. Heat grill to medium high (about 425°F).
  2. Wash peppers and drain. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, then put in a grill basket in a single layer. Grill, turning peppers occasionally, until peppers are blackened in places and look a bit wilted, about 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, water, cardamon, and fine salt.
  4. Place peppers in a serving bowl and sprinkle with smoked salt. Serve with sauce.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 190mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g

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  1. These were amazing!!!! Bought a bag at Trader Joes….so yummy! Love ’em & definitely making them again and again and again.

    1. @flgirl I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! Shishito peppers are a favorite around here. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Where does the yogurt go? Also, I don’t know what shishito peppers are. Are they hot? Can you suggest an alternative? I’m using your tahini-cardamom sauce on baked falafels.

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