08 Aug Amanda loves a Padron Pepper
A few years ago we (Amanda + Me) were sitting in a place called Sam’s Brasserie* after work at their very good happy hour. Good, because it was half price on everything between 5-7pm Monday – Thursday. So we’d order the padron peppers, oysters (I know!) and a couple of glasses of Prosecco and repeat. I’d never had them before and they were just fried really hot with rock salt. A pretty good way to end the working day…
So one of the first things I grew in my greenhouse was padron peppers and loved them. The freshness achieved from going straight from the greenhouse to grill is pretty damn fresh.
Unfortunately Amanda’s dalliance with growing her own was short-lived and she’s still buying hers from Waitrose, but if you are more green fingered, I can’t recommend them enough. Definitely my favourite pepper.
Things you need to know about growing padron peppers
As with growing any pepper you need a warm spot, so ideally a greenhouse or very sunny spot in the garden once they are established. Plant seeds in early spring in a propagator and sit tight.
They aren’t demanding, they grow easily with water and a little tomato feed to about 1 metre tall and require light support.
Harvest when peppers are about 5 cm long in July/August. If you leave them to get any bigger they will become pretty fiery.
I grow 2 plants each year and have a quite a few portions of peppers for the BBQ.
The fun bit
The vast majority of padron peppers are mild and sweet, but one in twenty will blow your head off. There is no way of knowing which one… who said growing your own isn’t fun, eh!
How do you eat yours?
I’ve only every eaten mine fried with salt or maybe a little garlic, so if you have any different ways of eating them, I’d love to know. One tip ~ If you’re eating them as tapas cut the storks quite long so they’re easier to pick up.
*This was the glory days, unfortunately Sam’s is now closed, otherwise I’d recommend the padron peppers, oysters (and Amanda).
“Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination.”
Mrs. C.W. Earle, Pot-Pourri from a Surrey Garden, 1897