Whole Living Daily

The Clean Plates Special: Jimmy Nardello Peppers with Chef Jessica Koslow

Posted by

This installment of the Clean Plates series features an interesting variety of pepper: the Jimmy Nardello, a member of the Capsicum family. It's originally from the Basilicata region in Southern Italy, and was named for Jimmy Nardello, an early seed preservationist who brought the pepper seeds with him when he immigrated to America in the late 1800's. This sweet and delicate pepper becomes almost creamy when sautéed, and is an excellent source of vitamins C and A, plus calcium, phosphorus, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.

We spoke with Jessica Koslow, a Los Angeles chef, SoCal guru of natural preservation and fermentation, and founder of SQIRL jam. Her company has redefined preserving in L.A. and been heralded for its organic, local (within 350 miles of the kitchen) jams made without commercial pectin. She dished about her passion for lacto-fermentation, the joy of discovering a new pepper and how she came to create the word, "SQIRL."

What is your favorite ingredient à la minute?

We're fermenting a lot of peppers at the moment (lacto-fermented peppers); one of the varieties is Jimmy Nardello. It's actually more of a sweet pepper, so we're using it fresh, we're using it fermented, we're cooking it — it has such a fruity and sweet flavor with a tiny bit of kick, we're putting it in everything.

Do you remember the first time you had the pepper?

The first time was recently, just this year. I was at Windrose Farms [in Paso Robles, California], and they're growing such interesting things. They spoke highly of it, so I tried it.
Sometimes that's the best thing you can do as a chef: Be curious. Then you can figure out how to incorporate it into your own point of view.

Tell me about the different ways that you're using them.

Well, we're julienning them very thinly. We're doing a crispy rice salad with Kokuho Rose rice (a medium-grain, heirloom varietal rice grown in California) and we're using them raw there. We're fermenting it as a pepper mash and putting that [in dishes] as a hot sauce. We're also doing the Italian style of preserving, so we're salting and preserving them in olive oil so we can use them all year 'round. All different ways.

What are the health benefits of this pepper?

The thing about preservation, or lacto-fermentation, is that it can create lots of flavor without the added fat. So you can get a lot of nuances of flavor from the lacto-fermentation. You don't have to use a lot of olive oil, so I find the things that we serve here are really flavorful without having to use a lot of fat.

What's the craziest thing you've done with it?

I think lacto-fermenting it was the hardest thing. The pH is lower than most peppers, so it doesn't ferment as easily as a jalapeno, which has a higher pH.

What do you do to ensure that happens?

You have to add a little more salt to start the fermentation. You have to make sure the jars that you're using have a really solid airlock. A lot of other peppers can have a tiny bit of exposure to air; it's OK because they're fermenting and there's so much salt in there, but that pepper does require a pretty good seal.

As an editor, I need to know: How did you come up with the spelling of "SQIRL"?

It's a girl who's squirreling away, so it's a marriage of girl and squirrel. It's clever, except when you know you're spelling it wrong and you revere writers — I'm the type of person who doesn't like misspellings of words. So I understand my own hypocritical side, but it made sense. I get it all — either I'm spelling it wrong, or, "Do you have squirrels in there?" I didn't want people to think I was making squirrel jam.

Jimmy Nardello Fermented Pepper Mash
These sweet Italian peppers make a delicious sauce; jalapenos are an excellent substitute. If you can find red jalapenos, which are sweeter and hotter than green, use those. This tool may be useful in getting started with fermenting food in an anaerobic environment.
Total time: About 20 minutes, plus two weeks


Jimmy Nardello peppers in any quantity, or jalapeno peppers

Sea salt (do not use traditional table salt), 7.5% by weight


Wash, dry and stem peppers. Working in batches if necessary, process in food processor. Weigh resulting peppers; add salt at 7.5% by weight. (For example, 1 pound of processed peppers would require .075 of a pound, or 1.2 ounces, of salt.)

Place in an airlock style of container (see recipe introduction for more information), or place in crock with a fitted plate on top to create an anaerobic environment (one without oxygen). Ferment at room temperature for at least two weeks, or to taste.

When ready to use, store in refrigerator. Use as a sauce over eggs, on sandwiches, drizzled over steamed fish and vegetables, as a component in salad dressings or as a relish for roasted meats.

The fermentation process creates lactobacilli, the same healthy bacteria (or microflora) found in yogurt, only dairy-free; this probiotic supports the immune system, promotes a healthy digestive tract and helps fight yeast infections. In addition, fermentation boosts the availability of food’s existing vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Story by Clean Plates Contributing Editor, Tory L. Davis

Related Posts:

Comments (25)

  • [...] the answer in Clean Plates’ exclusive story for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Daily, where we spoke to LA chef/jam and fermentation guru [...]

  • Join the Illuminati order online today, to meet your demand and acquire wealth, power,
    protection and security etc. Also get instant sum of 1 million dollars with a free home
    anywhere you choose to live in the world, 2500 dollars monthly as a salary,
    if you are interested contact us now via email: illuminatiorder.co@gmail.com


  • Xu Meng While listening to the words of Liu Yiyi some unhappy. But think of the four hundred thousand take their hard-Friends of Stony Point without boondoggle feel pleased, and he is not making money bank today. The money hatred is turned brain add up year after year, is not easy, all sweat ah, even to the beloved woman also will be distressed.

  • Thanks for describing about the different features of pepper. It is going to helpful at the time of preparing recipe.

  • My experience here is hit or miss. I've eaten here thrice. The first time was great. Excellent carnitas, excellent refried beans, a tasty soup and outstanding chile rellenos.

    The second time, the pork enchiladas Seemed like leftovers. The mole sauce was good, but room temperature and the enchiladas were soggy in places and dry in others. I guess it depends on who's preparing the food.

    Third time - back to being pretty good.

    Maybe if you get there When they're busy, the food will be fresher. When it's good, it's very good and very reasonable.
    How to Quickly Lose Weight Naturally

  • I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really
    nice, keep it up! I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future.

  • Hi there every one, here every person is sharing these familiarity, thus it's
    nice to read this webpage, and I used to pay a quick visit
    this website everyday.

  • I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz reply as I'm looking to construct my own blog and
    would like to find out where u got this from. kudos

  • Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, as well as the content!

  • I'm gone to tell my little brother, that he should
    also pay a quick visit this website on regular basis to get updated from most
    up-to-date reports.

  • Join the Illuminati cult online today and get instant sum of 1million dollars with a free home any where you choose to live in the world and also get 2500 dollars monthly as a salary... If you are interested please kindly fill the following information to this email below
    Full name.................
    State of origin.............
    Date of birth.................
    Sex.......... ......................
    Email Address...................
    Tell us little about yourself...
    No dirty game, no human blood sacrifice contact us today for more information
    +2348163980759, OR iluminatifortherich@gmail.com

  • I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding
    more. Thanks for great information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  • Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a weblog website? The account aided me a applicable deal. I have been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered vibrant clear idea|
    ケイトスペード 財布 新作 http://www.fandlmotors.com/

  • Good answer back in return of this matter with genuine arguments and telling all regarding that.

  • This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well,
    almost...HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

    my web page ... anchor text

  • Having read this I thought it was really informative.

    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this article together.
    I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  • I made my first fermented pepper sauces from my garden this past year. I just wish I had been doing this all along. I am the chili head, and this suites me more than the labor intensive pocess of canning salsa. I made a red, a green, and a habanero, all hot; my two chilihead adult kids and I each have our favourite color. Cant wait to get started this year.

  • What i don't understood is if truth be told how you're not actually much more well-appreciated than you might be right now.
    You are very intelligent. You already know therefore significantly in terms of
    this subject, produced me personally believe it from a lot of numerous
    angles. Its like women and men don't seem to be involved unless it's something to accomplish with Girl
    gaga! Your individual stuffs outstanding. All the time take care of
    it up!

  • Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your blog?
    My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors
    would definitely benefit from some of the information you present here.

    Please let me know if this alright with you. Many thanks!

  • great publish, very informative. I'm wondering why the opposite
    specialists of this sector don't notice this. You must proceed your writing.
    I am sure, you've a huge readers' base already!

    my web site ... world of tanks warpack

  • Hi are using WordPress for your blog platform? I'm new to the blog
    world but I'm trying to get started and set up my own.

    Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • At this time I am going away to do my breakfast, afterward having
    my breakfast coming over again to read more news.

  • They sell high-quality brands that are perfect for
    home use. Both of the manufacturers supply top quality
    high end products. Brand or Model1 Coffee Maker Brand or Model2 Coffee Maker Brand or Model3 Coffee Maker Brand or
    Model4 Coffee Maker Brand or Model5 Coffee Maker. If you try to push
    people into a sale, often they will run the other direction.
    People who stumble upon your reviews will get annoyed with the
    capital letters, and skip right through it.

    my page :: mobile reviews (owenjenkinson.soup.io)

  • Dice them or chop them in a food processor until you have small, raisin-size
    chunks. All our other mixes are soy free including our Wheat Free,
    Gluten Free Chocolate Cake. But some machines are capable of making up to three pounds
    at one time, so this may or may not be a limitation depending on
    how much pasta you plan on making.

  • With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My blog has a lot of exclusive content I've either
    created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is
    popping it up all over the internet without my permission.
    Do you know any solutions to help prevent content
    from being ripped off? I'd definitely appreciate it.

    Feel free to visit my blog ... download the other woman

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.