Friday, October 20, 2017

Blistered Padrón peppers

Some of the things that happened these past couple of months:

My blog was featured on CNN Travel as one of five Greek food blogs you should be following!

I went on vacation to Greece and had the best time at home in Athens with my family and friends, however, the most fun was had in the island of Evvoia.

I finally got a proper tan, for my standards at least, after of course I got a sun burn, and now I only have the memory of said tan because there’s no sun in Holland at the moment to sustain it.

I swam in the bluest seas and stepped on more than one sea urchin. Ouch!

I ate and drank more than I should.

I discovered that I’m allergic to cats. My dream of becoming a cat lady when I grow old, is officially shattered.

I learned that taking a leap of faith can only lead to good things.

I cooked a lot, as always.
Like these peppers. The best mezes there is.

If I could live on mezedes, I would. Small plates with all things delicious, savory and different from one another, never too much of anything that you get bored. Variety, different flavors and textures, complementing each other and creating a complete meal.

This could definitely be a part of my dream meze spread.

Peppers, shallow-fried in olive oil until they blister and char and become impossibly delicious. A good sprinkling of coarse sea salt which brings out their savory and fruity flavor even more, a drizzling of good olive oil on top and you’re set. The perfect mezes for ouzo, wine, beer or whatever is the alcohol of your choice, and a great accompaniment to steak or burgers.

By the way, speaking of peppers, have you tried Spetzofai (Greek peppers and sausage dish)? If not, you need to get on it, asap.

Blistered Padrón peppers

If you can’t find Padrón peppers, you can use any other small, mild or mildly hot green peppers. Shishito peppers (Asian variety of similar peppers) are a good substitute. If you are in Greece, kerato peppers are a good substitute, even though they are longer than the pimientos de Padrón.

Padrón peppers are usually mild-flavored but some of them are very hot, so when you eat them it’s like playing Russian roulette, something that intensifies the pleasure, at least in my opinion.

Yield: 4 meze servings

300 g Padrón peppers (or other similar variety / see notes above), rinsed and patted dry
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling over the top
Sea salt flakes (I use Maldon)

In a large and wide heavy-bottomed frying pan (like a cast-iron or iron pan), add the olive oil and heat over a medium-high heat. When the oil gets super hot and starts to smoke, add the peppers in a single layer and fry them for about 2 minutes or until their flesh softens and they blister and char on the bottom, without disturbing them at all, otherwise they won’t blister properly. Also, you need to be careful of any oil splattering on you, therefore, I would suggest you use a splatter protector/guard.
Turn the peppers on the other side and fry them for a further 2 minutes in the same manner, again without moving them around in the pan at all.
If your peppers are large, you should fry them and let them blister equally on all sides.
When ready, transfer them to a platter, drizzle with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with lots of sea salt.
They are best eaten straight away but you could keep them at room temperature and have them later.


  1. Oh, thank you for this recipe (and the gorgeous photos!)The peppers look like Mexican jalapeno peppers, which I can't find here in France, but I'll try others as you suggested. Love a little heat. I expect that there are good Greek restaurants in the Hague, but I envy you your lucky friends who can eat at your house.

    1. I haven't tried jalapeno peppers, I have to! Love a little heat too :) Thanks so much for your kind words!

  2. @Miss Footloose
    Incidentally the very same peppers are a specialty of the Gascogne in France. They are called "piments landais" since they are grown in Les Landes or "piments doux des Landes". They are prepared in exactly the way Magda describes often with the addition of some "Piment d'Espelette" a hot and spicy chili powder from the Pays Basque.
    Since you live in France ask your green grocer, they will be able to get them for you.
    You can also easily grow them yourself, I do so in a big flower pot next to the kitchen. google them and you will find nurseries that sell their seeds.
    Marianne in Biarritz