I had the good fortune to travel abroad this summer with my family, and experience Spain for the first time.
Barcelona captured my heart with its blend of upscale cosmopolitan and old-world gothic influence, Gaudi’s magnificent whimsical architecture, and of course, tapas bars. There was one on every corner beckoning us inside with beautifully crafted small plates and refreshing sangria.
I loved sampling the different local specialties in this bite-sized fashion. One of my favorite discoveries was a simple but tasty recipe for Fried Padron Peppers.
This authentic regional Spanish pepper has small green fruit (about 1″- 2″ inches long) that are delicious fried whole in olive oil and finished with coarse-ground sea salt. They shine as an appetizer course with cocktails.
One note of caution: Most of these peppers are mild and sweet, but occasionally a fiery one sneaks into the bunch.
As luck would have it, Padron peppers are in season at farmers market now, so you can experience a bite of Spain for yourself!
*Special thanks to ceramic artist Pandora Nash-Karner for the use of her gorgeous hand-crafted serveware in this photo shoot. To find out more about Pandora’s work, visit her website.
FARMINISTA’S FRIED PADRON PEPPERS (Serves 4)
- 1 pint basket of Padron peppers (the smaller ones have virtually no seeds).
- good quality olive oil
- ground sea salt (I used organic Garlic-Himalayan sea salt)
- Rinse the peppers in cool water and pat dry.
- In a small, deep saucepan heat 1/2″ olive oil on medium heat. When a flick of water in the oil sizzles, you are ready to fry!
- Add whole Padron peppers in batches to the hot oil, and fry, turning occasionally for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes or until the skins begin to blister and they start to brown. *Note: the oil will spatter so have a lid handy. Do not over cook.
- Remove peppers from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain excess oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and plate. Serve immediately.