Grilled Jimmy Nardello Italian Peppers

Jimmy Nardello Italian Peppers GrilledThat’s right, it’s another post about the wonderful produce we’ve been getting in our CSA this summer. I think I’ve featured vegetables more during the past few months than any other time during the life of this website. This week’s interesting pick was Jimmy Nardello Italian Peppers, an heirloom pepper named after…Jimmy Nardello. Who’s he and how did he get a pepper named after him? Jimmy just happened to be the son of the Italian immigrants who came to the USA in 1887. The Nardello’s (originally Nardiello) used to grow these peppers back home and liked them so much they brought the seeds over with them and continued to grow them where they settled in Connecticut. Despite their fiery red color Jimmy Nardello Italian Peppers don’t have much heat at all, in fact they are very sweet and are the right kind for quick grilling or frying for a late summer antipasto.

Back home in New York you can easily find fried peppers in delis, especially Italian delis, but they are mostly green ones which can have a little bit of heat to them. Eating these super sweet peppers on Labor Day actually reminded me of ones we had in Naples during our last trip to Italy almost 2 years ago exactly. We were meeting Cheryl’s sister and brother-in-law there for a week on the Amalfi Coast and ended up spending a couple of nights in Naples. One night we went out for dinner to this tiny place on Piazza Dante called Leon d’Oro where we ate one of my more memorable meals in Italy, which included some of these delicious roasted red peppers (the pizza was pretty awesome too). The four of us ate and drank really well that evening!

Back to the peppers. Seeing these interesting sweet Jimmy Nardello peppers for order in our weekly CSA I decided to order a couple of pounds. Um…there are a lot of these peppers in a pound. The box was pretty much overflowing with peppers and I was worried about what to do with so many of them. I shouldn’t have though as they are quick to grill (or fry) and being so tasty they go quickly so you’re pretty happy to have over-ordered. This is definitely a case of keeping the preparation simple simple simple and letting the quality of the produce be the focus. Grill (or fry) them, drizzle some oil on them, season, and that’s it. They are really sweet, seriously, you don’t even have to be afraid to eat the seeds as there’s not heat at all to them. One reason they disappear really fast.

And yes, I ordered two more pounds for next week.

Grilled Jimmy Nardello Peppers

  • 1 lb Jimmy Nardello Italian peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • Salt

In a pan on the stove, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot pull the pan off of the heat and add the garlic. Turn off the burner. Stir the garlic around so it doesn’t burn and sauté briefly, do try to not let the garlic brown. Set aside to cool.

Heat up your grill so it is HOT. Wash the peppers. Place peppers on hot grill and rotate when they begin to char and blister on the grill side. Continue grilling until cooked on all sides. 10-15 minutes.

Remove from grill, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, allowing the peppers to cool for 10 minutes.

Remove from bowl and toss the peppers in the garlic-olive oil. Season with salt a serve on a plate with some bread and cheese.

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