Amazingly easy to make
To celebrate Spanish Tapas Month on Italian Kiwi this week, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favourite tapas that I ate when we were down in Andalusia in April: green roasted peppers. It’s one of the most simple tapas to make, as you’ll see when you read the recipe. These roasted peppers can be made in the oven, or on the barbeque if you want to stand over them and turn them frequently (I decided to take the lazy way out and throw them in the oven).
Buyer beware: the peppers may look innocent, but….
The photo you see above are the kind of peppers I found in France to make this recipe with, which are not the Spanish ones that you see in the photo below. They didn’t have a name in the greengrocers; just a label that said that they would add “taste” to your dishes. I thought that they might have a similar taste, and beggars can’t be choosers (as my mother always says!), so I got a few kilos of them. I roasted them in the oven and they looked great and smelt wonderful! I quickly threw them on a plate, rubbed my hands gleefully together and then cut one of the peppers in half and took a HUGE mouthful. the taste was wonderful for the first 10 seconds: just enough time to chew and swallow, then the heat hit me like a bus running me over! They were SOOOOO spicy!! I had to cram about half a baguette in my mouth to stop my tongue from feeling as though a volcano had sprouted in the middle of it. So, a warning from the wise: taste a small portion of your pepper first if you don’t know what kind it is…….
What the real padron peppers look like
The photo of these green peppers above was taken at the Triana Market in Seville. They are called Padrón peppers, which are the ones used for making this recipe for roasted peppers in Spain. Apparently they can also be spicy, depending on how much water and sunshine they get when they are growing, but not all of them are. So you have a much better chance of eating them without feeling as though your eyes are going to pop out.
Travel Photo of The Week
This photo is, of course, from Andalusia in Spain and is three photos, not one. The fantastic stretch of sand in the photo below runs for kilometres in front of a tiny town called Conil De La Frontera. We stayed in a hotel right next to the beach, just five minutes walk from the centre of the town. As you can see, in April there is NOBODY! It was plenty warm enough to go swimming. The kids spent hours jumping in the waves and building enormous sandcastles and forts to keep out the tide as it was coming in.
The joy of the beach
The Dads even took a surf lesson one of the days we were there. I’m not going to talk about how they fared, but I will say that they needed many cervesas afterwards to recuperate! Luckily, they didn’t have to stumble far, as right next to the pirate flag, there was a very good restaurant/bar on the beach. You know the kind that are always pictured in movies with coconut-frond umbrellas and tables in the sand? Well, this was one of them! And, the fact that they actually served excellent food there (including these roasted peppers) made it even more amazing.
Don’t go in the Summer
We talked to one of the hotel receptionists to find out what the area is like in July and August, with the thought of maybe going there for a beach holiday in the Summer. We buried that thought very quickly as she told us, “It’s very hot, there’s no parking, the town is packed with people fighting for tables at the restaurants, and the beach is incredibly crowded, so don’t bother to come here then”. Well, now we (and you) know!
By Lisa Watson
Roasted Padron peppers with flaked salt
- 1 kg padron peppers 2.2 lb
- 3 – 4 Tbsp Olive oil
- Flaky Salt to taste
- Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Add the oil to and oven-proof dish. Roll the peppers in the oil.
- Bake for 25 -30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with large flaky salt crystals.