Use your hands.
In addition to other items at dinner, we have eaten Padron peppers three days in a row. These nibbles of green are actually pretty mild and addictive. My favorite part is being able to eat them when they are still hot, while the juices and the seeds gallop into your mouth like a flavorful injection, dispersing themselves onto your taste buds. I like to eat them whole, stem and all. It’s a satisfying feeling, like being able to to leave no trace of what was left on your plate. YUM.
When these pods of scrumptiousness come around, they come in abundance.
They are clean, with little flesh yet meaty with a thin skin. They do cook up quickly. The sizzle of oil and moisture released onto the pan as it sears the pepper lends a smokey flavor. Sometimes you get that one or two or three that can tingle and burn your mouth. Every cook I know often comments on those being the “lucky” ones. The coveted ones.
Padrons are best when cooked in a very hot pan, quickly and simply tossed with olive oil and finished with sea salt or even flavored salts like citrus salts, or smoked salts. Although accompaniments like zest and cheeses are delicious too. Soft crumbles of cheeses, chopped nuts, and fruits go well with Padrons
The other night I heated up a saute pan, tossed the Padrons and Shitake mushrooms in olive oil and placed them in the hot smoking pan. Being sure not to overcrowd and to toss every minute or so, I looked for the good char on the skin and looked for the mushrooms to soften then quickly placed onto a plate. Drizzled with some Olive oil, some flaked sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. They become a great snack or starter.
Sitting around a table, using your hands and pummeling through them with friends is the best way to eat padronsespecially on a warm summer night.