These tiny little green Padron peppers are a popular tapas dish served all over Spain but funnily enough, the first time I tried them was in a fantastic little SoHo bar in New York. It was love at first bite! Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets stock them now and I like to serve them with a glass of cold beer, fino or rosé on sunny garden BBQ days before the main event is served or as part of a tapas feast. This is hardly a recipe really but as lots of people have asked me how to prepare them, I thought I’d oblige with 3 different options: classic, cumin and chorizo-style.
- You will need one or two 135g packs of Padron peppers depending on how many people you have at your feast.
- Wash and then dry the peppers with a clean tea towel and put them in a large mixing bowl. Pour in a few drops of olive oil and coat them all thoroughly with just a light film.
- Cook them on the BBQ or quickly pan fry them. The BBQ or pan must be very hot as the peppers take just a few moments to blister on each side and they should still have some bite to them.
- Classic: serve them in a warm bowl with a scattering of coarse sea salt. Eat them whole – all but the stalk. They are usually quite mild in flavour but every now and again you get a really spicy hot one. It’s a kind of culinary Russian Roulette – all part of the fun of the dish!
- Cumin: quickly pan-fry them in some flavoured oil (garlic or chilli works well) with a dessertspoon of cumin seeds. Serve on a board scattered with coarse sea salt and some finely grated lemon zest.
- Chorizo: slice 80g of chorizo sausage into 0.5cm rounds, fry quickly and then add the peppers for a few minutes until blistered. Serve in a warm bowl.
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