Padrón Peppers in Wine Country are “Hot”
When we say Padrón peppers are hot in wine country we do not mean hot spicy, we mean very popular. Simply take a gander at any of the Napa Valley restaurant gardens and you’ll see them growing abundantly. Check the menu at any Napa Valley restaurant and you are likely to find them on the appetizer menu. Nine out of ten of the Padrón peppers are mildly spicy, but one of them for some unknown reason is hot spicy. Padrón peppers have been very popular for many years in Spain and there they are called Pimientos de Padrón. Just about every Tapas restaurant in Spain serves this delicacy. It is just about mandatory that in Spain you drink a glass of Albariño wine with your Pimientos de Padrón. In the Napa Valley, a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, dry Riesling, or a stainless steel Chardonnay will pair nicely. The Padrón peppers are sauteed quickly in hot olive oil and then sprinkled with kosher or sea salt. They can also be grilled on the barbecue, placed on a vegetable grill pan. Padrón peppers can be grown in most warm climates. We have some growing in our garden on the San Mateo Peninsula. Mid July is when the Padróns become prolific on a plant. One must harvest them when they are small, just under three inches. Otherwise, they get too hot to enjoy eating. The plant will continue to provide peppers through October. One can also find Padróns at most Farmer’s Markets from now through September. Delicious, to say the least!
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