For the last several years now, one of my favorite tapas to prepare on Sunday afternoons is Pimientos de Padrón. Luckily for us, one of our local farmers, Bodhi Tree Farm, specializes in heirloom vegetables and has grown these tiny Spanish peppers very successfully. I must say that each year I await the season eagerly and greedily.
Pimientos de Padrón are originally from the Galicia region in Northwest Spain. They are very popular in Spanish tapas bars and have quickly gained popularity in the US as well. And it’s easy to see why! Not only are they deliciously sweet, nutty and ever so slightly bitter, but every now and then you’ll get a really hot one in the bunch, earning them the nickname of “Russian Roulette” peppers.
Serving them to friends is unbelievably fun! I’ll bring a bowl of these warm peppers and announce: “let’s play Russian Roulette” (believe me, that always catches everyone’s attention!). The discussion becomes extremely lively as soon as one person bites into a hot one… Then everyone approaches the scrumptious peppers a bit more gingerly. But no matter what, there’s never a single one left. They are simply addictive.
Food & cocktail pairing: Dark rum mojito with basil, paired with Russian Roulette peppers
I like to serve the Pimientos de Padrón with this dark rum mojito with basil… And then, I wish Sunday afternoons would never end. Of course, a Cava is delicious here too!
Pimientos de Padrón
active time: 10 min
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 12 oz (340 g) Pimientos de Padrón – rinsed and thoroughly dried on a kitchen towel
- sea salt to taste
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and peppers and toss until the peppers are well coated with the oil. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until peppers are golden-brown and blistered; tossing only occasionally. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle with the salt. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm.