Pimientos de Padron

July 23, 2008

Whenever I go downtown to Pike Place Market I'm always sucked into the Spanish Table. There's no way around it, and I always end up parting ways with more dolares ($) than I intended. Needless to say, it's a wonderful establishment and I always leave happy - usually with a bunch of anchovy stuffed olives in my hand.

Today I was thrilled to find a shipment of Padrón peppers had just arrived from Happy Quail Farms located in East Palo Alto, California. When we lived in Palo Alto we frequently bought from Happy Quail Farms, and we were delighted to find their produce had made it all the way up to the Pacific Northwest.

Padrón peppers, named after the Spanish municipality in which they are grown, and are a typical tapa. They're small, sweet and mild, although occasionally you do come across an errant hot one. Peppers grown in June/July tend to be milder, while those grown in August/September tend to pack more heat. But that's not a strict rule of thumb, so it's a bit like playing Russian Roulette. I hope you enjoy spicy surprises, you just may get one!

  1. Start with 1/2 to 1 pound of pimientos de Padrón
  2. Wash the peppers and dry on a paper towel.
  3. Heat a frying pan with a small amount of olive oil, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan
  4. Add the peppers when the oil begins to smoke just a bit
  5. Fry the peppers shaking the pan so that all sides cook
  6. As the peppers start to blister, sprinkle liberally with kosher salt.
  7. Once the peppers are slightly browned and blistered on all sides, remove from heat and cover in pan for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add a bit more salt, hold by the stem, and eat while they're hot!

pimientos de padron on Foodista



Carolyn Jung's picture

I am addicted to padrons, ever since I wrote a story years ago about David Winsberg, the farmer who owns Happy Quail Farms. Padrons make the most fun cocktail party appetizer, too. It almost turns into a game because one in five of the peppers has a spicy kick, and you can't tell by looking at them which one it might be. With a group of people, it's always a riot to see who ends up with the hot one.

… a Espanha marca « Que bicho me mordeu's picture

[...] de ver a foto de Pimientos de Padrón no Foodista bateu uma saudade… Daquele risco-vontade meio loteria de pegar uma pimentinha ardida em meio [...]

Kaykat's picture

These sound delicious. I was introduced to Padrón peppers in Spain several years ago - tapas style :) The ones we noshed on were a lot zingier than the peppers I've encountered here.

Jen (Modern Beet)'s picture

Those look delicious! I love padron peppers for so many things -- roasting, stuffing, sauteeing, you name it!

I am headed to the Palo Alto farmer's market tomorrow, and will check out the Happy Quail Farms stand!

Nate's picture

Hey thanks for the heads up about the pimientos. Going to have to keep an eye out for them at the farmer's market!

Chris's picture

Hey, these look familiar! We <a href="http://www.weheartfood.com/2008/07/pimientos-de-padron.html" rel="nofollow">made them on Friday</a> -- and also got ours @ the Spanish Table! :)

Kristin's picture

You forgot... wash them down with a cold beer

Venkat's picture

Ah, nice. I've tried this dish at the Harvest Vine and from the source in Galicia (NW Spain) as well. Last time we were there, we got some seeds to try in Seattle. Lo and behold they grow like crazy here. (I'm sure seeds are available online as well.)

Your recipe looks perfect - I've played around with the amount of oil and the temperature. I like them a bit cirspy, but they are good anyway they come out. (The spiciness level seems to vary, probably a function of the soil and temperature?)