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The Last of It: Corn, Zucchini, and Padrón Pepper Hash

September has a way with me. It has, in the last few years, become one of my favorite months. If you are considering a trip to San Francisco, I would encourage you to do it in September. The fog is usually light, the days are generally warm, and the summer sun continues to linger in the evening sky. Cooking in September is the most fun of all. Our late summer produce — peaches and strawberries, zucchini and heirloom tomatoes — begin to play with early Fall treasures. I have already tasted the first of the season’s apples, and soon I’m sure I’ll begin to spot the fall squashes and little baby potatoes, dug up fresh from the ground.

I’m cherishing this Fall more than ever as I know that come winter, I’ll be heavily pregnant and less mobile. I’ve been dreaming about finding a small orchard around these parts so that Matt and I could go apple picking and enjoy some fresh cider. My Pairings Box recipe themes of late bring up rich colors — vibrant reds, earthy browns and lively oranges.

Feverishly, I’m trying to share all of the summer dishes that we’ve been indulging in the last couple of months. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve been cooking more than ever; photos and recipes are accumulating. I keep telling myself that there are peaches, apricots and corn all begging to be let loose here, before they disappear from our parts and yours. For the next two weeks, they’ll be uncovered. And then we’ll move onto the warm, rich foods we love in the Fall and Winter. It’ll be the last hurrah of summer because, technically, we’ve still got a few more weeks of it.

To start, I’d like to share a simple side dish that was inspired by Sheena’s post. A few years ago, I discovered Padrón peppers at my farmer’s market, and I’ve been hooked ever since. You may be familiar with a similar variety called Shishito. Small and vibrant green, these little peppers are best tossed with oil and sea salt, and then grilled until blistery. They make a fantastic snack, particularly while you’re standing around the kitchen, cooking the rest of your dinner. While generally not spicy, one in about every ten is hot. Matt and I refer to eating a bowl of these grilled peppers as ‘the Padrón roulette.’ In this recipe, the peppers are first grilled, separately, then stirred into a bright, herbed corn and zucchini hash. It’s generally wonderful served with some fish, chicken, or grilled steak, but also makes a fantastic filling for a vegetarian taco. Try it plain, or toss in some pan-seared tofu cubes. If you are going to use this hash in a taco, consider cutting off the Padrón pepper stems.

This is the kind of meal that’s been gracing our summer table, and I hope makes its way to yours.

Making this hash for vegetarian tacos? Kelsey of Happyolks inspires with this recipe for homemade tortillas.

Corn, Zucchini, and Padrón Pepper Hash
*serves four

2 cobs of corn
3-4 small zucchini (variety)
1 pint of padrón or shishito peppers
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 tablespoon of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1. In a medium bowl, toss the peppers with oil, salt and pepper. Cut the kernels off the cob and set aside. Dice the zucchini into bite-sized pieces.
2. Heat an indoor grill pan to medium-high. Use a pair of tongs to place the peppers on the hot grill and char, occasionally turning, until the peppers are blistered. Transfer peppers back to the bowl and set aside.
2. Add a tablespoon or so of oil to a large, cast iron skillet. Heat over medium heat. Stir in the the corn and diced zucchini. Cook, adjusting the heat and stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is soft and the corn begins to color (about 6-8 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the peppers and herbs to the skillet. Toss to combine and serve warm.

Musical Pairings: BRAINSTORM – Heat Waves + Corn, Zucchini, and Padron Pepper Hash

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Posted by Kasey


Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Love this Kasey!! I enjoy autumn in California as well, but I’m not quite ready to give up summer produce. I have plans for a zucchini carpaccio this weekend. Perhaps I’ll add this recipe to my to-do list too :)

    For the past two years, I’ve done a SF trip in October. Such a wonderful time of year to visit. I’ll be back again this year!

  • Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    Love this Kasey!! I enjoy autumn in California as well, but I’m not quite ready to give up summer produce. I have plans for a zucchini carpaccio this weekend. Perhaps I’ll add this recipe to my to-do list too :)

    For the past two years, I’ve done a SF trip in October. Such a wonderful time of year to visit. I’ll be back again this year!

  • Gaby Dalkin

    Kasey this looks absolutely delish! Right up my alley – and I can’t wait to make it!

  • Kathryn

    This post has made me super excited for the fact I’ll be in San Francisco in just a couple of days!

    I also love padron peppers and that biting bitterness that they have. This sounds like an incredible way to eat them!

  • NIcole

    A beautiful bowl of summer! I wish I could find padron peppers more readily, but I really did enjoy the one batch I found. SF in September has always been good to us :)

  • Eileen @ Ham Pie Sandwiches

    Well, I’d like to know where you are still seeing apricots (WHERE?), but we definitely still have lots of corn, zucchini, and peppers down in the south bay. :) A mixed saute like this sounds just about perfect for the end of August.

  • Jess O’Toole

    Love padrón peppers, and I was just trying to think of another way to enjoy them besides my usual straight up grilled- great timing!

  • Nicole Franzen

    noms, this looks delish. I love shisito peppers and the corn right now is awesome. Im totally making this. x N

  • Kasey

    Thanks, Brandon! Ahhh, how I love zucchini carpaccio…I agree that October is quite nice, too :)

  • Kasey

    Thank you, Gaby! Congrats again on the wedding – you looked beautiful!

  • Kasey

    Oh yes – perfect time to visit! Let me know if you need any more recs :)

  • Kasey

    Well, I hope you can find them again! I kind of OD on them in the summers…you should come back again!!

  • Kasey

    I haven’t seen apricots at the farmer’s market but have spotted them in grocery stores…I think you can still find them! At least I hope so, because I’m posting a recipe for apricot jam later this week :)

  • Kasey

    That’s exactly how this hash came about — I was only eating them in one way and I really wanted to try something new.

  • Kasey

    Ohh glad you guys still have plenty of corn in NYC! I actually haven’t been eating it as much as I usually do…I feel like I’ll wake up in November and really miss it! xo

  • WithStyleGrace

    love the simplicity of this dish!

  • Aida Mollenkamp

    Oooh, I wish I had seen this recipe before I went to the farmer’s market this AM!

  • Rachel M.

    I doscovered padron pepper recently and LOVE them too! I may have roasted a whole bag of them and then eaten them all myself before my husband got home…
    This looks delicious! I love a simple skillet full of the best vegetables around!

  • Nicole Spiridakis

    My hometown of Sebastopol, once the ‘apple capital of the world,’ still does have a lot of orchards though it’s been inundated with vineyards … only an hour north from the city if you’re hankering for apple-picking :)

  • Kasey

    Thanks, Lisa!

  • Kasey

    You’ll have to try it before all these veggies are gone!

  • Kasey

    I can totally eat a whole bowl by myself :)

  • Kasey

    Oh! Oh! Any recommendations?? I’d love to head up there in the next few weeks.

  • Kimberley H.

    Love this clever take on padron peppers! I can eat inappropriate amounts of these guys but usually do no more than oil and fancy salt. This is great.

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