Padron peppers have taken America by storm. They originated in the municipality of Galicia, Spain, where they have long been a popular tapas dish simply sauteed in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. They were first brought to the Pacific Northwest by Manuel and Leslie of Viridian Farms, and have since been grown by a dozen other farms on the west coast. In Galicia, they have a saying, "os pementos de Padron, uns pican e outros non," a rhyme that translates as "some are hot and some are not." Manuel and Leslie say that only one in twenty is spicy, but I find it to be more like one in seven!
At Park Kitchen, I like to cook them with all sorts of accompaniments, from chanterelles and cherry tomatoes, to gnocchi or octopus. They also make a lovely side dish for a pork roast or braised beef. Their size and mild heat are so versatile that they deserve a versatile presentation. You can find them at many farmers markets from July to late September or early October. They are quick and easy to cook, so give them a try.