The beauty of Padrón chillies is in their versatility and ability to be utilised in almost any type of dish – raw or cooked. But easy as they are to use – the real key is in the quality of fresh produce. All good green grocers can supply Padrón chillies. Try to purchase the best chillies from local growers or any reputable green grocer.
Vibrantly fresh with a beautiful green colour, Padrón chillies are a mild relative of the paprika family with origins in Mexico and Spain. Measuring about 3cm – 5cm long with a gently rounded pointed tip, they are deliciously adaptable – able to transform from very mild and sweet through to hot and spicy. How? It’s all in the freshness, quality and a little preparation.
Padrón’s can be eaten raw, steamed, fried, roasted, baked or grilled. Any way you want really – there’s no limit to these value-packed little gems. Most Padróns are sweet and mild to taste and with the seeds removed, are even milder (only just beating pepper, they’re about a “two” on the heat scale). Some are a bit hotter – as it’s name Padrón charmingly translates: “Some are hot and some are not”.
If eaten young, the Padrón chili has a sweet flavour, great in salads or on toast for instance. A favourite traditional recipe is fried chillies in pure virgin olive oil served with a touch of simple sea-salt. The depth of the green colours look sensational served this way and the chillies just melt in your mouth with an after taste that won’t let you just eat one.
Grown between June – September, the more mature Padróns are generally hotter and for those looking for a chili for the more traditional or regular usages, these chillies are at the fore for flavour as well as heat control.