Padrons. The first time I encountered this mysterious little green pepper was at the farmer’s market. Intrigued by their high price tag, I asked the farmer to tell me more. He proceed to explain how the pepper was Spanish and was known as Pimientos de Padron. He went on to say that the peppers are normally sweet and very mild; but, that in every batch there would be a spicy one.
Ever year we eagerly await for the season to arrive, and then we keep a steady supply in our house. They make a great little nibble to have on hand while cooking dinner. Just gently saute in a little olive oil, and season with some salt. Sometimes I like to sprinkle a little spicy pepper to really make things spicy. The padrons are fun to serve to dinner guests as well as kids; they have so much fun eating them, and wondering who will get the token spicy pepper.
Recently I started using the padrons in recipes as well. One of our favorites is a balsamic onion and padron pizza. The caramelized onions, slightly sweet padrons and creamy manchego are an amazing combination. Especially when grilled over a charcoal fire.
If you see these gems in your market, take advantage, not only are they delicious but they are fun to eat.
Do you have a favorite recipe using Padrons? We’d love to hear all about it.
*makes a noshy snack for 2 – 4 people
- handful of padrons, washed and dried
- olive oil
- maldon salt
In a large frying pan, gently heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.
Add the padrons and cook until the skin blisters and they slightly turn a little brown.
Remove from the heat.
Put into a serving dish.
Sprinkle with maldon salt.
Recipe: Grilled Balsamic Onion and Padron Pizza
- pizza dough
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced very thin
- olive oil
- good quality balsamic vinegar
- handful of padrons, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup manchego cheese, sliced very thin, we use a vegetable peeler
- maldon salt or black sea salt
- egg – this is optional
Heat your grill according to your directions. Clean the grate of the grill, you do not want any extra food hanging out on it. Not only will this change the flavor of the pizza but it will cause the pizza to stick. You will want to keep the heat at about 400.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and slowly cook, over low heat, until caramelized; about 25 – 30 minutes, depending on the heat of your stove. Do not make them dark brown. Add a drizzle of balsamic, stir and cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Roll out the pizza dough on a well floured surface. Move the rolled out door to a large baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Grill the dough for a couple minutes on each side, just long enough to make it slightly firm. Remove from the heat, and put back onto the baking sheet or a pizza wheel if you have one. Then put your toppings on top of the dough in this order: onions, padrons, and cheese. Slide the pizza back onto the grill. If you are adding an egg, break it onto the middle of the pizza and sprinkle with salt. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Close the cover to your grill. The pizza will be ready in 12 – 15 minutes. I check every so often, as you may need to slightly move it around, so you do not burn the crust. Serve. Eat.