California is in a pretty serious drought right now so I’ve scaled back my vegetable garden considerably, choosing to focus on maintaining larger plants like fruit trees and shrubs with the water I use. I have limited myself to only two things. One type of tomato and one type of pepper of which I will plant only two each. But which one to choose? We will talk about the tomato in another post. For now, let’s focus on that pepper.
Pepper varieties can be very mild, like various bell peppers. Colorful bell peppers like these Jewel Toned Varieties can add a great deal of variety to stir fry or grilled dinners or even breakfast. Nothing better than a couple of sauteed pepper slices along with some scrambled eggs. On the other hand, peppers like jalapeno or habanero can also be hot adding much needed spiciness to Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisines. I wanted both. So I settled for a pepper that can do both.
Spanish Padron peppers can be quite mild when harvested early at about 3″ or quite spicy when they get to be about 5″. When hot they make a great addition to salsa or chili. They not only add some heat but flavor as well as they have quite a savory, peppery taste.
My favorite way to eat them, however, is as an appetizer. Either lightly sauteed in olive oil until soft or grilled, all they need is a sprinkling of sea salt. A plate of Padrons, a cold beer and a nice chair on the porch can make for a great way to end the day.
Padrons are easy to grow in containers and one plant can be quite prolific. In mild weather climates frequent harvesting keeps it producing peppers until first frost.