Until last summer, I’d never heard of nor seen padron peppers. And then, I couldn’t turn around without seeing a basket of them at every stand at the farmers’ market or on the menu of every restaurant here in Napa Valley. Originally from an obscure region in Spain, they’ve made their way to the U.S. in abundance and I hope they are around for a very long time.
Padron peppers look like a green, thick-skinned cross between a jalapeno and a habanero. They are exceptionally easy to cook and make a great snack with a glass of wine or as a side dish on the dinner table.
A few tips: If you wash the peppers, be sure to dry thoroughly and do not remove the stems. Also, use a thick-bottom, heavy skillet. I like to use my vintage cast-iron skillet.
—Lori Lyn Narlock
Heat a heavy skillet over high heat until almost smoking. Reduce the heat slightly and add the olive oil and the peppers. Stir to coat the peppers If you have a mesh cover, use it to keep any oil from splattering. Let cook until the peppers begin to burn, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until the peppers are browned on all sides and soft, about 5 minutes total. Remove from the heat, transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Eat with your fingers.