Our summer mornings may be chilly, but Crescent Moon Farm has warmed up local farmers markets with the first of the season’s padron and shishito chilies.
“We should have them until November,” Jill Adams says, “if the weather cooperates.”
She and partner David Moring have increased their plantings, too, though they still find it nearly impossible to keep up with the demand. If you want to score some of the early harvest, get to the market early.
The padrone, which is named for Padron, Spain, is sometimes called the Russian Roulette Chili, a nod to its unpredictability when it comes to heat. Most are sweet but every now and then one climbs the Scoville scale (used to measure a chili’s heat) and packs a surprising wollop. Jill and David also grow shishito chilies which have a somewhat more complex depth of flavor.
The best way to enjoy these chilies is to fry them–padrons, shishito or a combination of the two– in a very hot cast iron pan brushed with a little olive oil until blistered on both sides. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with Maldon sea salt and indulge!
They are also delicious prepared in this way and then scattered over grilled ribeye steak.
You can read Seasonal Pantry’s column about padron chilies and other summer tapas here.