Padrón Peppers

We just love discovering new foods. The greatest thing to hit our local farmers markets this summer, or at least that’s new to us, is the Padrón pepper. Steve first tasted them at Bocadillos where they were served pintxos-style, cooked whole in a little olive oil until the skins blistered then lightly salted. He was hooked from the first bite.

Padróns have a unique flavor marked by an unusual meatiness and just a hint of bitter. They (usually) pack no heat in the tiny seed cluster that nestles next to the stem. But every once in a while, you get a hot one that reminds you that you’re eating peppers. The heat dissipates quickly. It’s spicy like cinnamon, not like a hot chili pepper, so there’s no risk that the capsaicin sensitive will be bowled over by these delicious nibbles.

The dark green peppers are picked when bite-sized making them a perfect finger food. And like other salty finger foods, they’re hard to push away from after only a couple of bites. We’ve eaten entire pints in a single sitting. But unlike potato chips or roasted nuts, we just can’t feel guilty about feasting on them.

These Spanish delicacies are, in fact, a New World food that made its way back to Europe a few hundred years ago. Popularized by Jose Andres, and other Spanish chefs, the pepper variety is enjoying its 15 minutes of fame and as such is now readily available throughout the summer at a growing number of farmers markets across the country.

Peter Piper may have picked a peck of pickled peppers, but we sautéed the Padrón peppers with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Which is much easier to say and do.

Even though we are late to this pepper’s fan parade, we want to give a big shout out to them for anyone who will listen. Now go out and find some Padrón peppers and give them a try!


Padrón Peppers

1 pint Padrón peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 good pinch of course sea salt

Wash peppers under running cold water until well rinsed, drain. Heat olive oil in sauté pan until just shimmering. Add peppers and cook on medium high heat, turning frequently, until skins blister on all sides. Remove from heat, drain on paper towels and plate, sprinkling with the sea salt. Eat warm or at room temperature.

Apple Puff Pancakes

These simple breakfast treats are a favorite weekend go-to. They’re made from the sorts of basic staples everyone should have on hand – eggs, milk, flour and butter. They take virtually no time to whip up and they cook fairly quickly. Like any custard or popover, these puff pancakes can be flavored a thousand different ways. They can be savory with the addition of herbs and cheese or they can be prepared with fresh fruit and served with real maple syrup.

The puff pancakes pictured here are filled with sautéed apples that were seasoned with the rich, savory flavors of caramelized onion and black pepper. The seasoning was made possible thanks to a beautiful leftover fond I saved from my preparation of onion jam the night before. We finished these pancakes with a rich maple syrup.


1 cup whole milk
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 crisp, tart apples, diced
2 large eggs
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare ramekins or whatever baking dish you intend to use by coating with butter or non-stick spray, and placing them on a cookie sheet (this will help prevent a mess in oven).

In a blender, combine first three ingredients and puree until well mixed. Slowly drizzle melted butter into batter until incorporated. Add pinch of salt.

Just before adding batter, place baking dish or ramekins in preheated oven and bring to temperature. Once heated, pour in the batter, top each with a portion of the diced apples, and bake on center rack of oven for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. Once set, they should be easy to remove from the baking dish. Serve right away.