{how to} Five Minute Padron Peppers

Every year, it seems like all of the restaurants get together and decide they’re going to put some new food on every single menu in town. Whether it’s purslane, chicories, Calabrian chiles, or ramps–I’m quite convinced that the restaurant mafia is constantly figuring out how to promote some non-mainstream produce item that suddenly shows up everywhere. A few years ago, you couldn’t eat out in San Francisco without being offered roasted Brussels sprouts (not new per se, but new to fancy food). Years before that, you couldn’t open a menu that didn’t have fingerling potatoes on it. Last year, this nouveau item was padron peppers (or sometimes, shishito peppers, which look pretty similar.)

Padron peppers are one of the most exciting vegetables you can buy, because about 95% of them are sweet and delicious, with maybe just a hint of spice, while the other 5% are super spicy. You can’t tell which is which, though, until you take a bite. This makes them fun to share with friends, and the risk/reward really livens things up. They are almost always served in some variation of the same preparation: sauteed in a pan. When I saw them at the Farmers Market recently, I bought a whole mess, rinsed them off, and quickly seared them with salt in a hot pan of olive oil. They only take about 5 minutes, and you just eat them whole off the stem.

So thanks, restaurant mafia- without you, I may have died not knowing what a padron pepper was or how to eat one. They’re so easy and tasty, and their spice variance provides a nice conversation point. These are definitely becoming part of the regular last-minute side dish repertoire.

This is too easy to be an actual recipe, so I’ll just explain how you make them.

How To: Five Minute Padron Peppers

Rinse whole padron peppers off well and leave to dry in a colander. Heat a little olive oil in a pan on high heat and heat to very hot. Add peppers and season with salt. Cook, tossing or stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until peppers have some blistered and blackened bits and they are soft enough to eat. Serve immediately with an empty bowl on the table for discarded stems.

A quick note: I don’t really like bell peppers, especially green ones, but I like these.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy…

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Gudrun says:

    Love, love, love Padron Peppers. Mariquita Farms, our CSA, introduced me. I have been happy ever since 🙂