Seared Shishito or Padron Peppers


Shishito and Padron peppers are becoming more widely available at specialty stores and farmers markets. They look almost alike, at about 2 to 4 inches long with rounded shoulders and a bell pepper color, and have a similar vegetal pepper flavor, although padrons overall are spicier and darker green.

Both are relatively mild though about one out of every 10 can be spicy, which adds drama. A sprinkling of Maldon sea salt, with its large flaky crystals and pure flavor, makes this invigorating, smoky appetizer even harder to resist.

1/2 lb padron or shishito peppers

Olive, peanut or grapeseed oil

Flaked sea salt preferably Maldon sea salt crumbled

Instructions: heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat. When very hot, add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Swirl to heat the oil until just barely smoking. Add the peppers and sear until blistered, golden or blackened and wilted, about 2 minutes per side. Serve immediately, sprinkled generously with the sea salt. Bite into the pepper clear to the stem, seeds and all.