Appetizers, San Francisco, Vegetarian

Pimientos de Padrón

A few months ago I attended a “Farmers Market Boot Camp” session with Darya Pino, the creator of the blog Summer Tomato. While the title of the event sounds as though Darya had us running laps around the building and bench pressing bushels of beans, in reality a small group of strangers were led on a very intimate tour through the festive Saturday morning atmosphere that is the weekly Farmers Market at the Ferry Plaza Building. Darya’s tips were fantastic and since attending her eye opening class CK and I have made an almost weekly pilgrimage to the market to buy all of our favorite things.

One such treasure, at least for a spice addict such as myself, were the tiny bright green bunches of peppers sold at the Happy Quail Farms booth. On my first trip to San Francisco, before I got the plague and ended up spending the whole time quarantined in my hotel room, CK and I had one single dinner out at Market Bar. At that time we had the padron peppers as an appetizer and I absolutely loved them. My favorite part? The fact that eating Pimientos de Padrón is essentially a form of edible Russian roulette. Every once in a while you’ll bite into a pepper that will bring tears to your eyes. It’s fantastic! But understandably not for the faint of heart.

If you’re brave enough this fiery treat is dead simple to make at home. All you need is olive oil, some good sea salt (preferably the pretty flaky kind), and a few handfuls of the mean little peppers. Since I’m a glutton for punishment I also sprinkle on a few red pepper flakes for an added zing and a little burst of color. Darya also suggested keeping the leftover olive oil that you fry the peppers in for later use. I can definitely think of a few good slices of bread that would love to get together with this infused dipping oil.

Fried Pimientos de Padrón
Originally published by Happy Quail Farms

Pimientos de Padrón
Olive Oil
Coarse Salt
Red Pepper Flakes (Erin’s optional addition)

Take a pan and pour enough oil to generously cover the bottom of the frying pan. Turn the heat up on the burner. When the olive oil starts to sizzle throw the peppers in whole. When the peppers start having small white blisters they are ready. Take the peppers out of the pan, place on plate with a paper towel. Sprinkle with coarse salt.

Hold the pepper by the stem and bite. Enjoy!