When Gary and I visited Spain several years ago, we fell in love with the Padron Peppers served at every tapas bar. Charred and blistered, these garlicky delights were an addictive treat. The anticipation of the one spicy pepper in each batch kept us coming back for more.
Upon our return home, I immediately sought out Padron peppers so that I could recreate this delicious dish and at least dream of being back in a country that ranks at the top of my list of favorites. I quickly learned that Padrons were hard to find but that Shishito peppers were readily offered as their substitute. Shaped long and thin as opposed to short and squat, I was open to the change but found that Shishitos were almost equally hard to locate.
Well, I’m not sure if I was looking at the wrong time of year or if Shishito peppers have just grown in popularity, but just recently I stumbled upon these peppers in both my local Whole Foods as well as Trader Joe’s. Not being one to pass on a culinary opportunity, I bought a healthy supply at both locations and proceeded to make the pan-fried peppers of my memory for each and every opportunity that presented itself–Book Club (check); Snow Day (check); Sunday snack (check).
There is no real recipe that I followed, but rather loose instructions. You can’t go wrong with measurements so when I say “to taste” be confident that if there is more garlic or lemon juice from one time to the next, the peppers will only be that much more delicious. Pour a glass of rioja and imagine yourself sitting outdoors at a square in Barcelona while enjoying these tasty treats.
- 2 Tbls olive oil
- 1 lb shishito peppers, washed and dried
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- kosher salt
- 1/2 fresh lemon
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat until hot.
- Add olive oil and continue to heat until almost smoking.
- Add peppers and allow to char and blister in the pan, stirring occasionally. The pan will smoke.
- When the peppers are almost cooked to your liking, add the sliced garlic and a generous two pinches of salt. Stir and cook for about a minute more.
- Remove from the heat and top with the juice squeezed from the half lemon.
- Best served hot but also just fine at room temperature.