I have always been a huge fan of green peppers, but only raw, not cooked. I eat them like apples and have ever since I was a kid. Although I was teased mercilessly in high school for bringing raw peppers in my lunch bag, I still continued to eat them.
It never even entered my mind to change how I ate green peppers until I was confronted with what seemed like an invasion of frying peppers called Padron peppers. Suddenly the farmers’ markets and the local produce stores were inundated with huge mounds of little crinkley green peppers that people were buying like mad. Swept along in this tide I decided to try them, pan frying them in olive oil until charred and then sprinkling them with good salt. What a delight! They were both crispy and sweet, salty and savory, all in one bite. And the real fun about the Padrons is that every tenth pepper is just a tad hot, making it a kind of spicy pepper roulette!
While the padron peppers are not yet in the farmers markets here in Los Angeles their cousin, friarelli, are, and I scooped some of them up for a tasty dinner. Friarelli, aka Italian frying peppers, are both green and red and unlike Padron pepper are always sweet. They make a great appetizer or light lunch with some toasted bread as I ate them here.
Friarelli with Garlic
1/2 lb Friarelli (Italian frying peppers)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Heat skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and allow to heat up. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add peppers and toss to coat with oil. Cook peppers until slightly charred. Add salt and toss and serve.