Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pimientos de Padrón

Part of the fun of having a garden is growing stuff you don't normally find at the grocery store.  And that certainly extends to Pimientos de Padrón.  Never heard of 'em?  Neither had I, before traveling to Spain.  They can be found in many tapas bars along the winding cobblestone streets of Barcelona, and they're worth seeking out.

They range anywhere from an inch to two inches long, and almost all of them are sweet and not at all similar to the jalapenos that most Americans know.  Folklore has it that one in ten peppers are truly hot, but I think it has more to do with the size of the pepper -- we let our first batch grow too large and some of them were downright face-melting meteoric, and my family doesn't fear a little heat.

Most satisfying is that we grew these peppers ourselves, from seed no less -- provided to me by the inimitable NotHemingway, no slouch when it comes to good Spanish grub.  It was touch-and-go for awhile... out of sixteen seeds, about eight germinated into spindly, sad-looking sprouts.  Of those, only two survived and are bearing fruit.  But they're prolific enough that we expect at least a few more servings of these spicy treats.

Preparation is simple... fry them in a liberal amount of olive oil until their skins just start to wrinkle, sprinkle them with sea salt, and enjoy.  Enjoyed with a glass or two of Manzanilla sherry, manchego cheese, some garden-fresh gazpacho, and a basil tortilla española -- we were transported to the ancient Plaça Sant Josep Oriol.


  1. Beauties. So glad you got to enjoy them. I only wish I had been able to plant mine this year. Maybe next year.

    Nice sangria pitcher, too! Hard to believe that place has Fred Flintstone on the walls.

  2. Very nice! I've had those peppers in a tapas bar and enjoyed them. Your DIY tapas are, I'm sure, much better.