Picón peppers are medium-hot, thin-fleshed chiles grown all over the Canary Islands. If you can’t track them down, use red jalapeños or Fresno chiles instead.
Featured in: The 2020 Saveur 100: 31-40
- 5 picón peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1 dried cayenne chile, or ¼-½ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
- 7 medium garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 Tbsp.)
- 1¼ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tsp. cumin seed
- 1⁄2 tsp. sweet smoked Spanish paprik
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 cup sunflower oil
- Using a mortar and pestle or a small food processor, grind the picón peppers, cayenne chile, garlic, salt, and cumin to a fine paste. Add the paprika, and continue grinding until smooth and integrated. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the vinegar, then drizzle in the oil, a little at a time, as you blend the sauce. Season to taste with additional salt, then transfer the sauce to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.