Saturday, August 18, 2012

Spotted: Padrón Peppers

It's not every day you can find Padrón peppers, so if you happen to run across them, snatch them up before the unsuspecting shopper standing next to you can. (Then narrow your eyes at them and declare "HA!" Yes, they may decide you're crazy, but that's more peppers for you, now, isn't it?)

We recently spotted some at our Co-op in Sacramento, and they have been known to appear during the summer at both Monterey Market and the Spanish Table in Berkeley.

After snagging them, your mission is simple: Heat a wide nonstick pan over medium high heat and coat lightly in olive oil. Toss in the peppers (in a single layer, without overcrowding), and cook for about a minute until white blisters appear on the bottom, then turn and continue cooking until blistered on all sides.

Sprinkle with kosher salt or sea salt, and serve hot. Using the stem as a handle, pop into your mouth (you can eat the seeds, but not the stem), and note that while most won't be hot, every now and then, you'll get a spicy one. Makes a deliciously addictive appetizer or tapas addition in just a few minutes. And yes, you told your dinner guests to expect Spanish food, but surely they realized that if they wanted Padrón peppers too, they should have thought to bring their own.

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