Eating a Padrón pepper is a little like playing Russian Roulette, less than 10 percent of the peppers are spicy, but watch out if you bite into one of the spicy ones! Called Padróns because they originate in northwest Spain in the town of Padrón, these small peppers are green and less than 4 inches long.
I first discovered them on a trip to Santa Barbara, a town with many Spanish influences, including the architecture.
Simple and easy to cook, these little chili peppers make for an easy side dish. The best way to prepare Padróns is to saute them dry or in a little olive oil before adding a little sea salt.
Look for Padróns from May to September at farmers’ markets and at places like Whole Foods. But be sure to buy them green, if you wait until they’re red, 100 percent of the peppers will be spicy!
Trip taken August 2013.