Be a pepper

SN&R Illustration By Mark Stivers

Browsing at Regionale produce market at Quarry Pond the other day, I was surprised and delighted to spot the twisted green shapes of pimientos de padrón, a Spanish type of pepper I used to pick up at Bay Area farmers’ markets. They’re small and usually mild, served fried in olive oil and with a sprinkling of coarse salt as an appetizer—one that has some element of risk, as every once in a while you get a searingly hot little one. The smaller ones tend to be milder, and Regionale’s owner, Andru Moshe, told me that these—grown for her by Riverdog Farms—had been picked a little too big, which makes them hotter. (In the Bay Area, they’re grown by Happy Quail.) The season is short, but Moshe thinks she’ll have them again for a short time. If you find them, fry them up with olive oil—and be sure to have a glass of water handy.