So what do you do with about 8 ounces of Padron Peppers that you bought on a whim at the farmers market?
Well, first, figure out what they are. My basket of Padrons consisted mostly of .75 – 1.0 inch dark green chiles with a few about 2.5 inches long. Shiny, no spots. They have thin walls, very thin, so I decided to stir fry in very hot olive oil. While they have a white pepper-like character, Padrons tend to be spicy but quite mild. You will occasionally run into a hot one, but those are rare. Overall, Padrons are a very rare guest to the farmers market or the produce section, so I recommend grabbing them when available.
Stir-Fried Padron Chilis in Lemon and Garlic
- Olive Oil
- One (1) pint of Padron Chilis, washed and dried very carefully
- Juice of 1 small lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garlic powder to taste
- Heat olive oil (I used 2 Tablespoons) until very hot in a saute pan.
- Add the chiles and stir-fry nonstop for 2-3 minutes. Be careful of water spatter if you didn’t dry them well. Like balloons, the chiles will deflate and turn very soft. You might even hear the hissing or squeaking sounds of air escaping their interiors.
- Spoon the chiles with the oil into a bowl.
- Add the lemon juice, along with lots of salt, pepper and garlic powder; toss the peppers until evenly coated.
- Let cool to warm or room temperature.
Once cool enough to touch, my favorite way to eat them consists of using the inedible stems as a sort of toothpick, plucking the peppers into your mouth and discarding the stems whilst mopping up the oil with bread. You can also cut off the stems and use them in sandwiches or burgers. Good as a side to a fish filet.
Vonn Scott Bair