This is the time of year when one of my favorite seasonal foods, the Padron pepper makes its very short, annual appearance.
By the way, in the video I refer to them as "Padrones," which is what I've always called them, and what the guy I always bought them from at the SF Farmers' market called them. However, they are more commonly called Padron peppers (just in case you are calling around looking for some).
What follows is a repost from 2008...
Padrones are small green peppers, native to Spain, but occasionally available in American farmer's markets. The season is short, and in just a few weeks they disappear, like some mysterious, charismatic visitor, leaving just as things are heating up. They tell you they'll see you next year, but that doesn't help the melancholy as you mope over to the jalapenos.
In addition to their complex, bitter-sweet flavor, the usually mild padrones are the world's most exciting pepper to eat. This is due to a fascinating genetic oddity - one out of every dozen or so peppers is really spicy!
So, there you are, happily enjoying your time with this sexy, soft-spoken Spaniard, and wham! Out of nowhere you get slapped in the face! By the way, if this metaphor is ever made into a movie, Penélope Cruz will be playing the part of the temperamental pepper.
As you'll see in the video, a simple preparation is recommended. A quick sizzle in hot olive oil, and a few flakes of "Fleur de Sel" sea salt is all that's needed with this late summer treat. Too many ingredients, and the flavor will not be fully enjoyed. Think about it, in the movie, should Penélope Cruz be in a 3-piece suit, or a simple cotton sundress? Enjoy!
A special thanks to Steve Eliot for his generous gift of these beautiful padrones.