Blistered Padron Peppers (Pimientos de Padron)
Padrón peppers (Pimientos de Padrón) hail from the namesake region in northwestern Spain. Eating them can be a bit like playing a game of Russian roulette: Most are mild and delicate in flavour, but around one in 10 have a powerful, spicy kick. Customarily, Padrón peppers can be fried, coated or stuffed, but they’re often flame cooked in olive oil and flaked sea salt until they blister, making them a perfect cast iron dish.
In recent years, padrón peppers have seen a huge surge in popularity across bars and restaurants in Europe. Thanks to their bite-sized shape, handy stem, and salty moreish flavour, they make a perfect bar snack, tapas plate, or easily shareable side. Spain-based Ooni Ambassador Alberto Zanrosso brought this recipe to life on a rooftop in Barcelona as part of a flame-cooked dinner party with friends. The peppers are best when cooked until tender, which requires a slower cook at a lower temperature. This makes it an ideal warm-up or warm-down recipe for your next gathering.
Serves 2 to 4 as a side or starter
500 grams Padròn peppers
25 grams extra-virgin olive oil
Large pinch (3.5 grams) Maldon or other flaked sea salt
Fire up your oven. Preheat the oven to 200°C, then add the skillet and preheat until the centre hits the same temperature.
In a bowl, toss the peppers with the olive oil and salt. Add to the hot pan and cook in the oven, giving the pan a shake every 2 minutes. Turn the pan 90° every 5 minutes for a rough total of 15 minutes. Cook until the peppers are tender and blistered. Serve immediately.