This “bottom note” about discovering Pimientos de Padron is from At Home by Steve Poses: A Caterer’s Guide to Cooking & Entertaining. There are more than 100 “bottom notes” that, added together, tell a story about me starting in “My Mother’s Kitchen” and running through this year. The book and its companion website will be available at the end of September. You can buy the book and access to At Home Online right now and receive a signed first edition.
Pimientos de Padron in Madrid
Just when you think you’ve tasted it all, there always seems to be something new to discover in the wide world of food. Christina was winding down her 20-year rein managing the artistic and business affairs of Mikhail Baryshnikov. We joined Misha’s summer tour in Madrid where Misha was initiating a new duet with Ana Laguna — choreographed by Luguna’s husband, Swedish choreographer Mats Ek. We dined well over several Madrid days, but it was at Casa Alberto on calle Huertes, near Plaza de Santa Ana that we discovered pimientos de padron. Sitting on Casa Alberto’s zinc-lined bar was a platter of thumb-sized green peppers, shriveled and glistening from their recent bath in hot olive oil. Eating them — you just hold the stem and bite the flesh — is culinary roulette because most have an intensely green flavor but every now and again you get a fiery burst of capsicum heat. We washed them down with a chilled glass of modestly sweet local vermouth served on tap. When we returned from Madrid I tracked down a US source and ordered several pounds as a free treat for our Frog at The Yard patrons.
Casa Alberto, Huertas 18, near Plaza de las Cortes & Huertas, Madrid
Illustration by Pascal Lemaitre.
Pimientos de Padron
Pimientos de Padron are currently available online from La Tienda and Happy Quail Farms. Order now for Labor Day and they will be the hit out your backyard outing. To eat, just hold a pepper by the stem and bite off the pepper. Most are quite mild with a little bite. Occasionally you get a hot pepper — but not at all unpleasantly hot.
Do ahead Garlic may be chopped ahead, but saute peppers just before ready to serve.
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 pound pimientoes de padron
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, sea salt preferred but otherwise kosher salt
1. In a large saute pan heat oil until hot, but not smoking. Add peppers and garlic, tossing frequently until peppers are wilted and slightly wrinkled. Off heat and add salt. Serve immediately.
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