Get to Know Shishitos

This tender, smoky pepper is a restaurant favorite — here’s how to use it at home.

The good kind of summertime blister.

Shishito peppers are having a moment, and not just because they’re currently in season. In recent years, the vibrantly green and slightly smoky Japanese chiles — shaped a bit like wrinkled fingers — have become a late summer and early fall staple on restaurant menus across the country. It’s for good reason: they’re delicious, super snackable, and, despite their fancy appearance when blistered and sprinkled with flaky salt, incredibly easy to prepare.

Luckily for home cooks, more time in the restaurant spotlight has increased demand for shishitos at grocery stores and farmers’ markets alike. These days, you can find them anywhere top-notch produce is sold. Make shishitos part of your seasonal home cooking repertoire with these tips and tricks:

  1. Easy prep. Leave those ribs and seeds alone! Shishitos can be eaten whole, so all you have to do is cut off the stem — unless you serve them as finger food, where the stem can act as a nifty handle. Each pepper contains a lot of seeds (more than you might expect), but they’re totally edible and don’t need to be removed.
  2. Spice roulette. While most shishito peppers are mild, about 1 in 10 is spicy. The occasional hot one is the result of over-exposure to the sun. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you’re a thrill seeker) there are no visual cues for spiciness; while the peppers turn red as they ripen, that’s not indicative of flavor, so bite carefully!
  3. Char master. Shishitos are easy to sub in wherever you’d use mini sweets or other small, mild peppers in your cooking, but they shine brightest when given undisturbed time in the pan to char, drawing out their smoky flavor. Leave them whole or cut them crosswise into smaller pieces, then add to a pan with a bit of hot oil; cook for at least 2 to 3 minutes before stirring or adding any additional ingredients

Ready to get cooking? Try one of these recipes, featuring some of our favorite uses for shishito peppers, tonight.

As a smoky pop of color in a homey pasta dish:
Pork Ragu & Fresh Basil Fettucine with Shishito Peppers

As a playful side with a bright and punchy topping:
Spanish-Spiced Burgers with Charred Shishito Peppers & Lime Salt

As a play on the vegetarian pizza parlor classic:
Shishito Pepper & Onion Pizza with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Greenmarket Inspo: BLT Salad with Grilled Romaine & Bacon Fat Croutons

Every week, our test kitchen team pays an early morning visit to New York City’s biggest farmers market: the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan. Comprised of over 70 stalls bursting with flowers, local products, and beautiful seasonal produce, it’s the perfect place for a hit of mid-week inspiration. Follow us on Instagram to tag along (bring a tote bag, it’s impossible to leave empty handed!) and see what we decide to make with our market haul.

We understand how this looks. Of all of the bright and juicy late summer produce to choose from at the greenmarket, we went with bacon? But hear us out: thicker cut and with a serious layer of fat, farmers’ market bacon cooks up to the platonic ideal of the breakfast food, both melt-in-your-mouth crispy and meatily chewy at once. It definitely costs more than your average supermarket brand, making it an “every once and a while” treat, but when you are looking to splurge, it’s a worthwhile way to spend your market cash — and certainly warrants being the centerpiece of a dish.

This recipe uses bacon two ways: first, crisped in the oven and crumbled to scatter over the salad, and second (and this is where the extra fat from the farmers’ market variety comes in handy), to bake up a batch of golden brown croutons. Cooking bacon on a wire rack set on a rimmed sheet pan means the bacon stays crispy while the rendered fat drips down below. We toss torn pieces of crusty bread (and a grated garlic clove, for bite) in that reserved fat to evenly coat each piece before tossing the pan back into the oven. The result is a crisp and crunchy crouton with a subtle salty, savory flavor, ready to soak up any juices from the bursting September tomatoes we tossed over the salad (see, we managed to get some seasonal produce in there!).

BLT Salad with Grilled Romaine & Bacon Fat Croutons


Serves 4
Special equipment: grill or grill pan, wire rack


2 heads romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise through the core
8 slices bacon
½ pint (about 1 cup) cherry tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp buttermilk
2 tbsp mayonnaise
3 oz blue cheese, divided
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 bunch chives, thinly sliced
3-4 slices crusty bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 clove garlic, finely grated
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil


1. Roast the bacon:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Fit a wire rack into a rimmed sheet pan. Place the bacon slices on the prepared sheet pan. Roast 14 to 16 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Leaving the oven on, remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon into small pieces. Remove the wire rack from the sheet pan, reserving the bacon fat in the pan.

2. Toast the croutons:

To the pan of reserved bacon fat, add the torn bread and garlic paste; season with salt and pepper (add a drizzle of olive oil if the pan seems dry). Toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Toast in the oven 6 to 8 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven.

3. Grill the lettuce:

While the croutons toast, heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat; lightly oil the grates. Drizzle the cut side of the halved heads of lettuce with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, cut side down, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly charred. Transfer to a plate.

4. Make the dressing:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, 2 oz blue cheese, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Assemble the salad & serve your dish:

Spoon half the dressing onto a platter; spread into an even layer. Place the grilled lettuce on the dressing, grilled side up. Top with half the tomatoes, half the crumbled bacon, and half the croutons. Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Garnish with the remaining tomatoes, remaining crumbled bacon, remaining croutons, remaining blue cheese (crumbling before adding), and chives. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Calling All Grill Masters: Introducing Summer Cookout, Our First Grilling Box!


Today we are excited to introduce Blue Apron Summer Cookout, our first culinary offering designed specifically for the grill, one of the most popular culinary tools in the summer.

Designed for hosting a delicious and seamless summer gathering, our new box serves six to eight people and features a variety of proteins, seasonal produce including corn, zucchini, peaches, and tomatoes, and our first dessert offering! Every recipe puts a unique twist on classic summer grilling staples, using flavors from Spain, Italy, Greece, the Middle East, and beyond––like the corn on the cob which uses tzatziki and za’atar instead of traditional elote seasonings or the panzanella salad which features a creamy parmesan dressing rather than a traditional vinaigrette.

In addition to the step-by-step recipes and pre-portioned ingredients needed to prepare a main course, side dishes, and dessert, each box includes a guide to teach home cooks how to plan their prep time, cooking time, and assembly duties, ensuring a stress free, achievable, and fun hosting experience.

Recipes include:

• Spanish-Spiced Mixed Grill with Chimichurri Sauce (*Comes with a choice of two protein combinations):

    • • Steak & Chicken
    • • Shrimp & Steak
    • • Chicken & Shrimp

• Red Rice & Vegetable Salad with Oregano Vinaigrette
• Panzanella with Marinated Vegetables & Parmesan Dressing
• Corn on the Cob with Tzatziki & Za’atar
• Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze & Mascarpone Cheese

Our new Summer Cookout box is available through September on the Blue Apron Market giving home cooks everything they need to host delicious and memorable gatherings all summer long!

Corn Panzanella

Grill, Then Thrill

These three easy wine pairings will guide you to a summer of grilling greatness.

The best thing about firing up the grill this summer: There’s always a festive feeling, no matter what you choose to cook over the hot coals. If you truly want your summer outdoor dining to be spectacular, though, keep just a few simple go-to wine pairings in mind. Pairing the perfect wines with beautifully grilled foods isn’t complicated, it’s full-blown festive.

fishforblogSeafood: Whole-roasted fish, such as striped bass, red snapper or porgy
Wine: A zesty, tropical white such as a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
One of the most hassle-free and tasty things to cook over hot coals is a whole fish. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil, throw on some slices of lemon, and you’re in business.

A zesty, tropical white wine is always a sure thing with fresh fish. The wine’s acidity acts like a squeeze of fresh lemon juice with every bite and sip, drawing out the flavor of the fish and refreshing your palate.

veggiesforblogVegetables: Think zucchini, bell peppers and eggplant
Wine: A bright, crisp rosé, particularly from Provence
Slice up your veggies and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. The extreme heat of the grill will caramelize the outside of the vegetables, making them taste sweeter.

That’s why a crisp rosé is perfect. Its bright acidity will balance out the veggies’ sweetness, and the wine’s fruit flavor will complement—and elevate—the veggies’ flavors.

burgersforblogRed meat: Burgers, steaks, etc.
Wine: A big, bold red, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah or Zinfandel
Whether you like your meat still mooing, well-done or somewhere in-between, it’s essential to let it rest for a few minutes before serving so the juices all spread evenly through the meat.

You need a big, bold red to stand up to all that meaty, juicy richness, but the main benefit of a full-bodied red is its tannins. That mouth-drying sensation from the wine’s tannins primes your palate for the next bite of burger or steak, so the last bite will taste as juicy and delicious as the first.

Sign up for Blue Apron Wine and save on your first order! Click here.

Coat It with Cabernet

Use that leftover glass of red wine to make an incredible barbecue sauce.

bbqsauceblogpostThe secret to great-tasting barbecue sauce isn’t sugar—though that’s what a glance at the options on the supermarket shelf would lead you to believe. The best barbecue sauces have that same balance of tangy acidity and savory and fruity flavors that also makes wine taste great. Next time you’re grilling ribs, burgers or a couple of chicken breasts, try slathering on this delicious sauce. It’s easy to make and far superior to any store-bought sauce—and, of course, be sure to serve some red wine with dinner!

Blue Apron’s Red Wine Barbecue Sauce
(Recipe makes approximately ⅔ cup, enough to coat 2 chicken breasts.)


    • ⅓ cup full-bodied red wine
    • ⅓ cup ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon molasses
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk together all the ingredients in the pan until smooth; season with freshly ground pepper. Continue cooking on medium-high, whisking occasionally, until simmering. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking occasionally for 4 to 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Transfer the sauce to a bowl or other container to cool.

Sign up for Blue Apron Wine and save on your first order! Click here.

Homemade BBQ Sauce for Your Memorial Day Weekend Cookout

BBQ Sauce Blog Header

Memorial Day Weekend, the start of outdoor dining season, is just around the corner. So, we’re taking this time to look at the history of one of the most crucial ingredients to any good barbecue, barbecue sauce! Plus, we’re sharing not only our recipe for Classic BBQ, but some delicious variations so you can keep your BBQ sauce exciting all summer long.

Today, the word “barbecue” has a wide variety of meanings. It can refer to a cookout, a cooking style, a sauce, even a grill. But back in the 19th Century, it also referred to a type of Southern eating establishment, which served up a culinary treasure: deliciously slow-cooked meats (served alongside vegetables), topped in a special sauce. From the Carolinas to Kansas to Texas, this sauce consisted of a few essential ingredients: a tasty base (either butter or rendered fat), salt, pepper and vinegar. It was vinegar that made “barbecue sauce” a revelation, giving it a tangy bite that cut the richness of the meat—ultimately transforming the condiment into its own institution.

In the 20th Century, various American regions began adapting the recipe to local produce and tastes. Additions like mustard, molasses, tomatoes and spicy chile peppers became state and city signatures. Now, there are almost as many variations as there are chefs. Here, we’re giving you a classically modern recipe for homemade BBQ. It’s easy to make: just simmer all of the ingredients together, then store the sauce in the fridge until you’re ready to use it as a dip, a marinade or a topping. But read to the end, because we’re also giving you a few suggestions for deliciously customizing the basic recipe yourself—as countless others have done around America and around the world, resulting in incredible concoctions.

Classic BBQ Sauce


2 cups ketchup
½ cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons ground mustard powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup water

In a medium pot, combine all of the ingredients. Heat to boiling on medium-high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 45 to 55 minutes, or until thickened and reduced in volume. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes about 21/4 cups

BBQ Sauce Variations

Blog bbq sauce

Our recipe for Classic BBQ Sauce can be adjusted in any number of ways. Aromatics, spices, sweet ingredients, and even a little alcohol can make exciting additions, perfecting the sauce for a variety of uses and unique tastes. These variations are four of our favorites. To make them, simply adjust the classic recipe, as instructed, and feel free to experiment with adaptations of your own!

Add ¼ cup of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of minced ginger to the sauce before simmering. Once the sauce has finished simmering, stir in ½ teaspoon of white sesame seeds.

Add 2 tablespoons of chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, 1 teaspoon of ancho chile powder, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika to the sauce before simmering.

Maple Bourbon
Once the sauce has finished simmering, stir in 3 tablespoons of maple syrup and 3 tablespoons of bourbon. Simmer for an additional 3 to 5 minutes.

Roasted Garlic & Jam
Stir 2 tablespoons of raspberry jam and as much roasted garlic as you’d like into the finished sauce.

 Tell us – how are you using BBQ sauce this summer? Share your recipes in the comment section below!

5 Great Blue Apron Dinners to Throw onto the Barbecue

With summer about to come to a close (though not officially: we’ve got more warm days and ripe tomatoes in our near future), we bet you’re aching to give your grill a last run. But maybe you’ve worn out your affection for hot dogs, and you’re ready for a grilled dinner that’s a little more creative.

In that case, skip re-supplying your hot dog drawer and pick one of these five Blue Apron meals that translate beautifully to the BBQ. Read on for tips about how to make the dinners jump from indoor to outdoor kitchen.

BLT - on the Grill

The Classic BLT

The BLT’s smoky flavors mean the summery stack is a great match for the coals.

Bring it outside: Grill the bacon in a skillet over the grill. Though this may seem like extra work, frying bacon outside will save your kitchen from the greasy scent bacon can leave. Then, oil the bread (with bacon fat or actual oil) and grill the slices before assembling your sandwich.

Mini Zucchini Tacos with Guacamole

These vegetable-rich tacos will even satisfy carnivores (and if they don’t, that’s when you add a steak to the grilling line up).

Bring it outside: Zucchini are neutral vegetables that easily absorb the surrounding flavors–in this case the smoky flavors of a grill, preferably a charcoal one.

Mexican Turkey BurgerMexican-Style Turkey Burger

Forget all those other boring burgers you grilled in July. These end-of-August patties get condiments like cojita cheese, avocado, and tomato, and a side of warm corn off the cob.

Bring it outside: Arrange the toppings on a tray and carry them out to the grill so that you can build up your burger before it gets cold–and then enjoy it in the open air. Grill the burger buns too! If the sky grows dark while you’re grilling, check the insides of the burgers with a flashlight to be sure the turkey is cooked through.


Chicken SateChicken Sate with Peanut Sauce

Chicken sate is a satisfying classic that everyone seems to order at Thai restaurants. It’s pretty empowering to know how to make it yourself, especially on the grill as cooks do at markets across Southeast Asia.

Bring it outside: The thin cuts of chicken will cook up really quickly. Have your peanut sauce already mixed up, then arrange the sate on a plate beside it for a delicious appetizer for a barbecue party. While guests subsist on sate, you get time to grill up the main course. (If you’re a smaller crew, the sates can definitely be dinner.)

Glazed Salmon on the GrillMaple & Ginger Glazed Salmon

Healthful salmon gets a saucy-sweet finish and a bright side salad in this irresistible, season-less dish.

Bring it outside: Salmon, a sturdy fish, has an affinity for the grill, and the charred skin gives the dish an extra summery vibe. Instead of searing the salmon as directed in the recipe, cook up the sauce in a pan, in advance, and toss the salad. Bring the salmon out to the grill, and cook the pieces about 5 minutes per side. Top with the sauce and serve with the salad.

9 Ways to Throw Your Vegetables on the Grill

Come July 4th–and all the summer weekends that follow–the grill takes center stage, and your typical omnivore’s thoughts turn to meat. That leaves the vegetarians alone to contemplate the dying embers and wonder why the smoke wafting up always smells like burgers but never of zucchini.

That should change, and not just out of fairness to the  meat-abstainers. Many vegetables cook up extremely deliciously on the grill, thanks to the high-heat, smoke-filled environs.  So whether you’re a host or a guest, don’t relegate your vegetable-lovers to the sidelines. Here are 11 ways to throw individual vegetables and entire vegetarian meals on the grill.

1. Grilled Zucchini Tacos

Grilled Zucchini Tacos

On the grill, marinated spears of zucchini char on the outside and turn juicy and soft within. In our recipe, they get piled into tortillas (also grilled)–as a fantastic filling for tacos.

2. Grilled Potatoes & String Beans – Served with Romesco Sauce

Grilling Potatoes and String Beans

Slices of Yukon Gold potatoes and trimmed string beans go on the grill in our recipe’s unexpected step for making a salad. Once cooked (and infused with a yummy smoky flavor), we chop the vegetables and turn them into a salad that’s dressed with Romesco.

3. Grilled Eggplant, Halloumi & Pesto Burgers

Halloumi is one of our all-time favorite cheeses, and it makes the leap from frying pan to grill in this delightful sandwich. Eggplant slices, definitely in the top five veggies to grill, makes an appearance too.

4. Grilled Tofu with Pineapple Salsa

Though blogger Oh She Glows’s simple guide to grilling tofu will stand you in good stead to match grilled tofu with any kind of sauce and starch, her pairing of pineapple salsa and coconut rice is deliciously inspired.

5. Grilled Home-Ground Polenta with Zucchini Salsa

In this recipe, home-ground polenta squares go on the barbecue, emerging with grill marks and crispy edges–and as the ideal vessel for fresh zucchini salsa.

6. Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cherry Salsa

Sweet potato fries should appear alongside burgers with regularity, of course, but what’s especially exciting in this recipe is that the grilled potato wedges could go so far as to be a vegetarian main dish. Way to elevate French fries!

7. Grilled Corn, Mexican Style

Grilled Corn

Elote is the Spanish name for the popular corn on the cob sold by street vendors in Mexico. Charred kernels, delicious in their own right, are topped with a rich combination of toppings, like Mexican crema, cheese, and spices. Here’s how to do it.

8. Grilled Broccoli with Chipotle Lime Butter

Spears of broccoli respond beautifully to the high heat of the grill in this recipe, shrinking down as their flavor intensifies and their texture grows delightfully crunchy.

9. Grilled Cheese!

Grilled Cheese on the Grill

Yes, you can transfer your grilled cheese cookery to the grill. Simply spread softened butter on the outside of both top and bottom slices. Then set over a hot fire and cover the grill. Cook 2 minutes on each side, watching to make sure the cheese isn’t getting too drippy. Admire your grill marks, then enjoy.

Dinner Conversation: Still Grilling and the Rise of the Sandwich

Maple-Chipotle Corn on the Cob from PopSugar Food

Each week, we round up posts, videos, and even playlists to entertain you while you cook, and provide conversation fodder for tonight’s Blue Apron dinner. We hope you had a fun 4th–this list should help you continue the fun and relaxation through the weekend.

Always Grill Your Corn – PopSugar Food
With this recipe for grilled corn with maple and chipotle, you’ll eliminate the potential boredom of always putting butter and salt on this summer’s corn by adding spice, smokiness, and sweet notes.

Frozen Strawberry Limeade – Table For Two Blog
This cool, boozy drink is everything a summer cocktail should be: pink, icy, and sweet.

Really Weird Things to Throw on the Grill – Zagat
From alligator to seitan to pig’s head, these grill-able edibles are many times more creative than ribs, sausages, and chicken, in case your grill needs a taste of adventure.

The Rise of the Sandwich in America – America’s Test Kitchen
A short history of the iconic American handheld meal, the sandwich, which came to prominence during Prohibition. Before that, there were only six kinds of sandwiches available. Can you believe it?

Homemade Soda – Kinfolk
A weekend project to make this old-fashioned lavender-flavored bubbly drink that’s sure to impress any friends and family. The recipe comes with a charming video.