Warning: this recipe is not nightshade free!
I had my first Padrón experience while working at Chez Panisse, and they soon became one of my favorite little bites. For years I grilled them up at practically every barbecue, but unfortunately my nightshade allergy now prevents me from eating them. However, they are so simple and delicious, I want to share this easy 3 ingredient recipe for you to enjoy.
Padrón is a municipality in western Spain, north of Portugal, famous for their small green peppers. While usually mild and sweet, occasionally you will come across one that is wildly hot and spicy. There's no rule of thumb to help you determine which young peppers are likely to set your mouth on fire, but like most peppers, the more mature they become, the spicier they will taste. And if you do get a spicy one, be sure to have some bourbon and/or sugar on hand- it has been proven that the alcohol and sweetness cut the heat!
If you can't find Padróns, pick up some shishitos or jimmy nardello peppers instead. The Spanish shishitos and Italian jimmy nardellos would be just as good with exactly the same preparation. In fact, Shishito peppers are quite the rage in here in Ketchum. Globus Restaurant in town serves a bowl of Shishitos with black sesame that my friends discovered a few months ago. Unfortunately I couldn't taste the hot commodity (four bowls later...) but my friends were so inspired that we decided to have a regular get-together named after the little guys. No matter what else is on the menu, little peppers are sure to make an appearance. Long live Shishito Nights!
Note: as you can see there aren't any measurements with this recipe. The Shishito Nights crew has taught me to never underestimate one's pepper-eating abilities. Get as many Padróns as you see fit.
- Padrón peppers, rinsed and dried thoroughly
- extra virgin olive oil
- coarse sea salt, to taste (I recommend Fleur de Sel or Maldon)
Heat your grill to high. Meanwhile, toss your peppers with a good splash of olive oil until well coated, then spread them in a single layer in a grill basket. Grill uncovered, turning occasionally, until the peppers start to char and blister, about 5-10 minutes (if you don't have access to a grill, cook the peppers directly in a hot oiled pan for a similar result). Remove to a serving bowl and toss with the salt. Serve hot.