This tapa unites two assertive flavors: roasted red peppers and goat cheese. Together the combination is dynamite. I regret I cannot cite the lady I watched make these on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” After trying several different search terms I came up empty. We had a marathon viewing session so I’m not even sure where the restaurant was located! If anyone knows, please drop me a line in the comments. This recipe from Alice Waters uses similar ingredients so I used that as my starting point.
If you have the time you could roast a multipack of the small peppers (they come 6 or so to a pack and are about 3 – 4” long. It’s OK if they’re multicolored). Roast them on a foil lined baking sheet at 450°. Turn them every 15 minutes until the skins are blistered on all sides. It will take between 30 and 45 minutes. Put them in a large mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a large towel and let them cool down. When cool enough to handle the skins should slip off with relative ease. Use kitchen shears (affiliate link) to cut off the tops and gently remove the seeds. Set them aside until ready to stuff.
For some mysterious reason, I had three 14.5 oz. jars of roasted red peppers in my pantry. I don’t remember buying them. Maybe the pantry fairy put them there. I used two of the jars to make this recipe. Since the jarred peppers aren’t whole, I kind of made sandwiches with two pieces of pepper. They were held together with toothpicks. It looked funny, but it worked. When we’re in Spain I purchase canned whole peppers and my only worry is splitting them as I add the filling.
You can find pine nuts in the baking sections. You only need a quarter cup, but you can store the unused pine nuts in the freezer. It will be pesto making time soon enough.
- 2 jars (14.5 oz each) roasted red peppers or 6 – 8 miniature peppers (red, orange, or yellow)
- 1 clove garlic, minced fine
- 4 oz goat’s cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup total basil and parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- ¼ cup unseasoned bread crumbs
- Olive oil
- Zest from one lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- If using fresh peppers, roast them as described above.
- Set the oven temperature to 300° and allow to come to temperature.
- Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet until they brown slightly and become pungent. It doesn’t take very long, about 5 minutes or so on medium high heat. Allow to cool slightly so that you won’t burn yourself when mixing with the goat cheese.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine goat cheese, garlic, basil, parsley, pine nuts and bread crumbs. Season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. It’s easier to mix everything evenly if you use your hands. Use a small amount of olive oil if necessary to hold everything together.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 – 15 minutes.
- If using jarred peppers, drain them and pat dry with paper towels. Flatten each one out if you can, but you want the cupped side facing up as you’ll want to fill the “bowl” with the goat cheese mixture.
- Pinch off some of the goat cheese mixture and form into a ball large enough to fill the pepper. Pull the sides up or cover with another piece of pepper and secure with tooth picks.
- As you fill each pepper, arrange it on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
- If you choose to roast your own peppers, fill by packing the goat cheese mixture inside each pepper, then arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until warmed through.
Serve with a nice crusty bread, some olives and a glass of wine. We sliced our peppers and ate them on a piece of bread. Any leftover goat cheese mixture could also be served as a spread.
I hope you give these goat cheese stuffed red peppers a try. We served them recently to some Moldovan friends and they really enjoyed them.