ah Pimientos de Padrón Fritos. From Padrón in Galicia in the top north west corner of Spain, they are a trinity of little green peppers, olive oil and sea salt, which takes a matter of minutes to get from a rinse under the tap to being showered with sea salt on the plate via a frying pan of hot oil. The perfect TV snack: no carbs, but finger lickin’ good.
However, although they do appear to be the simplest possible snack, they come with a built in surprise.
Yup, these deceptive little peppers are the Russian roulette of vegetables: for every five or so you pop in your mouth, one will be super hot. Although I am taking this on trust because, for all the plates of Pimientos de Padrón I have snarfled over the years, I have never had a hot one.
There’s nothing to them really. Just heat up some standard olive oil, tip in your peppers, and cook over a high heat until they begin to blister and blacken.
When you tip them out on to some kitchen paper they will immediately deflate. Sprinkle them with rough sea salt – Maldon, for choice and eat with your fingers (but not the stalks). Eat, as we did in Jerez, accompanied by a lovely chilled glass of Tio Pepe Fino sherry.
Pimientos de Padrón can be quite tricky to track down in the UK – although I saw reports on the LLG Facebook that they have been seen in some branches of Waitrose and Sainsbury’s – I bought these in the Mercado Central de Abastos de Jerez, Spain, which I visited last Tuesday. Twice this amount cost me all of 33cents (I wanted a kilo, but had already endangered my Ryanair allowance with a kilo of baby artichokes).
I was in Jerez as a guest of Gonzalez Byass and Tio Pepe sherry