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Two ways to enjoy the Jimmy Nardello pepper

Every year, Slow Food USA hosts the Plant a Seed campaign to feature unique Ark of Taste seeds with compelling stories that help growers and eaters understand the importance of biodiversity and regenerative agriculture. This year, we are partnering with Davines, a family-owned, sustainable haircare brand. Davines has been formulating its Essential Haircare line since 2015 with extracts from Slow Food Presidia farms in Italy. Featuring the name and location of the farm and farmer on the products’ front labels, the brand uses beauty to support local farming communities and celebrate biodiversity.

Enjoy two recipes below that celebrate the zest and zing of one of our Plant a Seed crops this year: the Jimmy Nardello pepper.

Calabrian-Style Fried Peppers and Potatoes

Recipe by Katherine Deumling

Sweet, salty and a bit charred . . .This was one of my very favorite things to eat when I lived in Calabria (the toe of the Italian boot) more than 20 years ago. It doesn’t really get any simpler but you need to be brave with the heat and have good ventilation. And don’t skimp on the oil either.
Serves 4
6-8 Jimmy Nardello peppers, washed, cored and seeded and cut into chunks about 1 ½ – 2 1/3 inches
3-4 medium firm fleshed yellow potatoes, well scrubbed (no need to peel) and cut into bite-sized chunks.
3-4 tablespoons olive oil (or a bit more if things dry out)
Sea salt
Heat the oil in the largest, heaviest skillet you have. When it’s hot but not smoking add the peppers and potatoes and toss well to coat with oil. Cook on high heat, stirring frequently until both potatoes and peppers are tender and almost blackened around the edges. Season liberally with sea salt. Serve hot.

La Poblanita

Recipe by Danny Childs, Slow Food Cooks’ Alliance

Ingredient List
Blanco tequila (1.5 ounces)
Mezcal (.5 ounces)
Lime (.75 ounces)
Pepper syrup (1 ounces)
5 Jimmy Nardello peppers (or another sweet, red varietal)
1 Fish Peppers (or another mildly hot, red pepper such as ripe jalapenos, serranos or chile de arbol)
10 papalo leaves plus 1 for garnish (Optional – can also be substituted with epazote or cilantro leaves)
12 oz 1:1 simple syrup (prepare ahead of time)
Salt (1 pinch)

Cocktail Recipe

  1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for ten seconds
  2. Using your hawthorne strainer and mesh colander, double strain over a large cube in a rocks glass.
  3. Garnish with an aromatized papalo or cilantro leaf.

Simple Syrup Recipe
1 cup boiling water
1 cup sugar
Mix the sugar and boiling water together and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool.

Pepper Syrup Directions

  1. Remove the stems from your peppers and roughly chop them.
  2. Place the peppers in a blender along with the papalo leaves and 12 oz. of 1:1 simple syrup and blend.
  3. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.