These Padron peppers literally melt in your mouth with a small amount of salty heat chasing a lingering pepper flavor as you grab the next one and the next one.
By Patty Price
Padron peppers are Luis Castelero’s pride and joy. He grows Padron peppers at his ranch in Lake County, California and likes to serve them in the purest way which is using the following recipe that he shared with me. It goes something like this, blistered in a heavy skillet coated with olive oil and then simply salted with the best sea salt you can get your hands on. Take hold of a stem and bite into the pepper, the small ones in one bite and the larger ones maybe in two. They literally melt in your mouth with a small amount of salty heat chasing a lingering Padron pepper flavor as you grab the next one and the next one..
The following recipe makes a fair amount, enough to fit comfortably into a good size frying pan, which in turn fills up a dinner plate to serve as a killer appetizer. My husband and I easily polished off the whole amount last night. While it’s always more fun to enjoy Padron peppers up at the ranch with friends and a good bottle of wine on a hot Lake County Summer’s night, here’s Luis’ recipe- the next best thing. I wish I could share the peppers too.
Perfectly Fried Padron Peppers
Padron peppers are best enjoyed as an appetizer prepared in the most simple way by cooking in a hot olive oil coated frying pan and sprinkled with sea salt before serving.
- Author: Patty Price
- Prep Time: 2 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 7 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 2 generous cups of Padron peppers
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt for sprinkling
- Add olive oil to a hot frying pan, when the oil is hot and shimmering add the peppers.
- Cook and stir the peppers until the skin is brown and blistered.
- Remove the peppers from the pan, place on a plate and sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
Patty Price is a former assistant pastry chef at Bizou (currently CoCo500) who was previously recognized for her signature dessert by The New York Times. She also spent time learning classic French cooking techniques at a three-star Michelin restaurant in France which she incorporates into her personal food blog, Patty's Food. Inspired by the diversity of seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs available locally in the San Francisco Bay Area, Patty hopes to inspire her readers to cook seasonally and try new recipes.
Hi Patty, So great to see you becoming a contributor! As I read your article my taste buds tingled and my mouth began watering. What a delicious treat. Now how to get my mouth to stop watering;)
Thanks for your support Nancy;-)
Hi Patty, so great to see you here :) You now have me craving these beauties…they look fantastic!
I absolutely love them. I live in London, we get them here (v expensive spanish imports) but what is sold here lacks that one in ten explosive pepper that blows yr head off when u much into it.
Out of interest is what Mr Castelero grows tame or fiery ???
These peppers have a slight amount of heat, I would say tame. Thanks for your comment, I love padron peppers too.
We have just returned from a holiday in Tenerife and I fell in love with padron peppers. Can you advise if there is anyway of storing them or do they have to be eaten immediately after cooking
I also live in London, I grow my own peppers from
ones I fetched back from Portugal.They were grown in
northern spain “Padron”. As you say every one in ten
Blows your head off.I get a good crop every year, but do grow them in a greenhouse.
To get seeds for growing,allow the peppers to ripen
(go red)and dry, plant them the following year.
I would really love to try these peppers! Welcome to Honest Cooking, Patty :)
I’ve seen Spaniards deep fry these things. However, I actually prefer slow cooking in a small amount of oil, very low heat, for about 30 minutes per side. Be gently!
Just picked a handful of the first padron peppers from my garden. This is just the recipe I was looking for. Thanks! Looks like you feature some wonderful recipes on your blog. Yum!
Yeah! Thanks for the recipe. I just received some padron peppers in my CSA box. Never seen them before and wasn’t sure what to do with them.
You saved me. :) Glad to have found your post!
Hi, My son tried these today and sent me the recipe on your website, from afar. Will be looking for Padron peppers tomorrow so we can enjoy as well. Thanks for a marvelous idea for appetizer.
Love these peppers. Had them this way at The Market Bar in SF and they were incredible. Need to find them here in Seatle.
^Seattle. Silly fat fingers
We discovered padron peppers in Spain last summer and loved them. So much that I found some seeds on the internet and am growing them at home. There are flowers on the plants right now, and I can’t wait for peppers.
I just had these peppers for the first time today at a restaurant in Saint Helena and immediately fell in love with them. I also live in Lake County and know Luis. Had know idea he grew these peppers. Think I need to pay him a visit. I’ll bring the wine!
You might also try blackening the peppers in a hot cast iron skillet without oil, then adding the extra virgin and salt in a separate serving bowl. This allows faster cooking without burning the oil! P.S. there seems to be plenty of natural oils to prevent sticking…
This was EXACTLY what I needed. Tasted just like Blue Plate in San Francisco (where I fell in love).
Thank you for sharing.
Grow my own from seed year after year in the greenhouse down here on the south coast of England. We play ‘Russian roulette peppers’ with them as appetisers :-)
Received these in my Fruit Guys CSA box and used this recipe…one word…AMAZING! My hubby and I gobbled them up and now I’m wondering where I can find them locally (San Jose)…I’ll be on the lookout at all the farmer’s markets!
Would this work with pepperoncini peppers? We have more growing than I know what to do with!
We have been eating Padrons obscenely for the last two years out of our garden. We literally almost go through 50 a night four nights a week during the season.
Regarding the larger hotter ones — those can be like eating a small handgrenade. I cook them exactly per the recipe (or in butter instead of olive oil), cut them into thirds — slicing off the seed bundle, then splitting the rest of the pepper into halves — and dehydrate them to a point where they will crumble in your fingers.
We use these dried padrons as a seasoning — for example, crumbling them into mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs. The heat remains, but it creeps up gently versus instantly melting your nasopharynx like the freshly cooked ones can do.
Not only are they fantastic paired with wine, but this might be the greatest microbrew pairing of all time.
Thanks Matt for the suggestions on cooking Padrone’s I have been eating them in restaurants since last year, and grew my own this year. Until now I haven’t heard of any other way of cooking them. I like the idea of dehydrating. Going to try it today! Thanks again.
Grew some of these in London, UK and when they were ready cooked them up for my mum and girlfriend.
Bit into them with anticipation and every mouthful of every pepper was fiery hot!! Not enjoyable at all, but funny!
I’ve heard that if you let the peppers get larger than 2″ that’s when they start getting a lot of heat.
This is my first season growing them and am trying to keep them about 1.5″, so far so good. If you want them hot try growing them larger.
I too love padron peppers done up this way. They’re the perfect light snack. I was first turned on to this method at the farmers market in Santa Cruz, California. Now I grow them in New Orleans, Louisiana and like KT mentioned above, if you let them get larger than 2″ the heat does develop.
Hi! I’m just checking back in on my post here. I’m growing Padron peppers in my garden from plants that Luis gave me earlier this year. I tried throwing them on the grill without oil, they blister and cook quickly but not as good (flavorful) as The method Luis uses, which is my preferred method outlined in the above recipe. Also try different kinds of salt, this year I’m using smoked sea salt and truffled sea salt..a favorite of Luis.
Happy Padron pepper cooking and eating to all!
Before I read this and looked to see what others were doing with Padrons had cooked a batch of Padron’s just like Patty’s recipe from Luis. Got mine from Green String Farm in Petaluma and they were terrific with some cheese and a very nice Bandol rose.
I live in a suburb of Chicago and grow these. I get plants from a seller on Amazon in early spring. They do amazing here. The plants are about 3 feet tall and I get loads of peppers everyday. No need to over-pay to buy them when they are easily grown in the garden.
We had these last summer in Spain and picked up three packs of seeds to bring back. Now we have a 6 hi yielding plants in the garden. We have been eating a lot of these! My favorite easy way to cook them is to pick them small (about 1.5 inches) lay them out in a small shallow baking dish and mist with olive oil. Then roast in an oven at 450. Keep and eye on them and within about 10 minutes the skins are blistered and black in spots. You can top them with coarse salt and serve them right in the baking dish. Hardly any clean up!
I like the idea of misting with olive oil and roasting on high heat until blistered- just don’t like turning my oven in when it’s hot outside-fried up a skillet full last night for dinner, so good!
Can I please get Luis contact info I would like to contact him to get some of these wonderful peppers.
I was in Spain in May and ate Padron peppers every chance I got!
Today I bought some at whole foods. I have never cooked them before.
Thank you for the tips. Can’t wait to cook up as an app with
some crispy vinho verde!
Been growing and eating these for years! In Spain these are some of the most common of all tapas. They are easy to grow and one plant will produce literally hundreds of the little green gems. Don’t spend up to $20/lb, try growing your own!
Love padron peppers!!
Just got back from Spain a couple of weeks ago. Cant get these out of my head. Looking for either an alternative or a place to find them in Central Florida. I don’t think I have the patience to grown them.
Thank you for sharing the very simple yet best way to enjoy these peppers! Living in northern california I’m lucky that they are a staple at my local grocer.
Love my padron peppers! Have 10 plants of this and I still pickem here in SF even this late. Got the plants from Hirt’s garden via Amazon late March.
I got my Padron pepper seeds from Renee’s Garden, a CA nursery that sells online. I started them the 1st week in March, 1 month ago. Now I have 8 vigorous seedlings, which are almost big enough to go into the ground. I appreciated learning that I can get hundreds from one plant which can keep producing into Dec! I may not need to plant them all. I’m also glad to learn that it is the larger ones that blow off your head, so keep them small, unless you dehydrate them. Lots of good tips here. I can’t wait to try them (the peppers and the tips).
We just picked about 10 Padron’s from the garden. I can’t wait to try this easy, tasty recipe! Thanks for sharing!
Planted by seed on 3/1/14 and I have now peppers starting to form. I think I’ll have a great season this year here in Seattle. I also allow acouple of peppers to mature so that I can dry them and harvest the seeds which are alot of seeds that come out of them. No need to pay $6 for afew seeds.
We have 2 plants, my first ever and I will always have a place for these peppers in my garden. They are easy to grow, have no pests (so far), produce heavily and taste heavenly with the simple roast, oil and salt method. We have so many that I went on a search for a way of preserving the overload. The recipe that I found for pickled padron peppers is amazing. The peppers in my first batch were VERY hot, probably because I used larger ones that were not picked while we were away on vacation. I used cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. The resulting vinegar is the most delicious of all vinegars of all time!!!! Drizzle this vinegar over a Caprese Salad with accompanying drizzles of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sprinkle with a designer salt of your choice and go to heaven. DELICIOUS.
love to try these peppers ,hope they are available in New Zealand ,will have to enquire
love your recipes and website
I just tried cooking this but it didn’t turn out the way it does at restaurants :( Think I need to practice more! :)
Just had the Padron Peppers at Café Fina in Monterey, CA.
They were wonderful!
My second year growing Padrons in eastern Ontario. Since my first taste,in Barcelona,I crave them. I have found nowhere to purchase them in the area, so I order the seeds from the States, and have had great success in Zone 4. I will try to harvest some seeds this year, but am not sure if the length of our growing season will allow them to ripen to red. Got the seeds from Johnny’s this year, anywhere else I could order them from?? Found a tasty recipe for padron tacos…. oh my,my!!
Goooooorgeous! Crossing fingers that my pepper plants will pull through the season.