I have felt compelled to put fried green peppers on just about everything since a dinner earlier this summer at my food blogger friend's house. Linda (of Wild Greens and Sardines) and her husband invited my husband an I over for some delicious pasta, and while we sipped wine and waited for the water to boil, they fried up pan after pan of padrón peppers. Padrón peppers are a staple in Spain, a most-welcome nibble in the late afternoon when you know dinner is still hours away. Sprinkled with crunchy grains of salt, they are mostly mild, but occasionally you get a real hot sucker that makes you reaching for bread, cheese, anything to make the heat go away, even another pepper-just hope that it's a mild one. If you're like me, you somehow manage to grab only the hot ones.
I'll take a minute here and clue you in to a little thing about going to a food blogger's house for dinner. When a bloggers says she's just going to make pasta for dinner, don't believe that she's just going to toss some dried noodles in some water and call it a day. Nope. Linda made the most beautiful homemade pasta in these circular stamp shapes and tossed them with a nutty and herbaceous pesto. Pan fried padrón peppers started off the meal, but roasted maitakes, Green Zebras doused in extra-virgin olive oil and sumac, and specialty chocolate rounded it out. And what in the world did I bring to this feast? I came with a dinky grilled zucchini salad that I swear shrunk even more by the time we got to Linda's. My cup of zucchini and me pretty much wanted to disappear when I saw the spread she had prepared. Yeah, we very much owe she and her husband a dinner. Or wait, a feast.
Back to the peppers. Padrón peppers are deliciously tender and a far cry from rigid (and always hot!) jalapenos and very pungent and vegetal green peppers. Heat makes their thin skin melt, their few sugars just beginning to caramelize. The problem is that they can be a little hard to find. Shishitos, on the other hand, seemed to be everywhere at our farmers' market. While I would be hard-pressed to tell you the exact difference in taste, padrón peppers are a little more petite. I pretty much treat both them the same way. Fry them in a little oil until nice and blistered, sprinkle with some sea salt, and eat, seeds (not stems) included. As much as I love them plain, I thought they could add a little texture and subtle earthy heat to a breakfast favorite of mine, the egg and avocado sandwich.
I feel like I'm cheating calling this a recipe, but I thought the combo was worthy of a share. I tossed on a little fresh basil for a hint of summer freshness. Tomato would be a welcome addition, but as it's breakfast, I didn't want to get too complicated.
Shishito Avocado Breakfast Toast
1 whole wheat English muffin or 2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
Handful of shishito peppers (or Padrón peppers, if you can find them)
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1/2 large avocado
A few basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
Sea salt and pepper, for sprinkling (or a little Parmigiano reggiano is delicious!)
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add peppers, and cook for 7-10 minutes, tossing occasionally. Peppers should be blistered and starting to wilt. Remove from heat, remove stems from peppers, and sprinkle with sea salt.
Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Crack two eggs into pan, and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes or until desired doneness. You can flip the egg for over easy or I sometimes place a lid over the pan to allow the white to cook and just allow the yolk to set.
Mash 1/4 of avocado on each slice of bread. Top with basil, shishitos, and fried eggs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (and a little Parmigiano reggiano), if desired. Serves 1.