cheese stuffed roasted piquillo peppers

Cheese Stuffed Roasted Piquillo Peppers

I studied in the same university where my parents work as physics professors, and ever since I was little I was always going there; my school was right across it so the afternoons would usually involve getting homework done at mom or dad’s office and having a snack at the huge kiosk like structure that has been there ever since the university opened it’s doors in the 1970s.

laberinto cromovegetal
Probably the most iconic photo that can be taken at our university (Universidad Simón Bolívar). The building to the left is the library and the garden in the middle is called “Laberinto Cromovegetal”, a work from the famous Venezuelan artist Carlos Cruz-Diez.

There’s been a greenhouse at our university for quite some time now. The first time I came across the greenhouse I didn’t make much of it, I just assumed the university had it for research purposes. Eventually I came to learn they would sell poisenttias during the holiday season, at some point my mother made a point in going there every December to get a pot (or two) to decorate our tree-less apartment for Christmas. I regret not taking decent photos of the plants my mother got this year; we had the usual red and a lovely whitish ivory-like one with pinkish and purplish veins.

More recently I learned that for some time the greenhouse has been selling fresh produce on Tuesdays and Fridays. They have a nice variety of products including peppers in an array of shapes/sizes and colors, beefsteak tomatoes, grape tomatoes, so many varieties of salads and lettuces, etc. It’s a shame I found out about this just two weeks before graduating and one month before leaving the country for good, at least the rest of my family will be able to reap the benefits of their decently priced products for some more time though.

peppers and tomatoes

I’ve been wanting to make goat cheese stuffed piquillo peppers for a couple of years now. My mom had purchased a bunch of jars and cans and we always put it off for some other time, we ended up going through all the cans (using them in dips or as simple appetizers seasoned with olive oil and herbs). Today we decided to finally give stuffed peppers a try using the beautiful long red peppers from the greenhouse. We enjoyed these with some homemade sourdough seed bread, but they were delicious on their own as well!

cheese stuffed roasted piquillo peppers

Recipe notes:

  • I used a mix of goat cheese and buffalo ricotta for two reasons: goat cheese is rather expensive and quite pungent on its own. I like the goat cheese because it lends a nice punch to the whole dish, however for the mild component I would imagine any variety of soft/creamy cheese (like cream cheese or neufchâtel), cream (like heavy cream, crème fraîche) or even yogurt (the thick kind, like Greek or Turkish) would work. Feel free to play around with the proportions to suit your taste.
  • The amount of filling will depend a lot on the size of the peppers, for this particular recipe I ended up with unused filling (which wasn’t an issue because we gladly had it with bread later).
  • Although I’ve never tried it, I’m confident this can be made with canned or jarred piquillo peppers.
  • For the herbs I used about 6 springs of fresh thyme, half a spring of chopped fresh rosemary and about a tablespoon of chopped fresh curly parsley because that’s what I had at hand. However, I would imagine oregano, basil or chives would also be lovely (at least with the particular cheese combination I used).
Goat Cheese Stuffed Roasted Piquillo Peppers

Inspired by browsing www.foodgawker.com

Serves 3 (2 peppers per person)
Ingredients
  • 6 long red peppers
  • 150g soft goat cheese
  • 300g buffalo ricotta cheese
  • 1tbsp extra vigin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh herbs
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
cheese stuffed roasted piquillo peppers
  1. Preheat oven to 400 °F and line a baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper (I used the former). If using jarred piquillo peppers, see recipe notes, preheat the oven to 350 °F and skip ahead to step 3.
  2. Cut the tops off the peppers and with a knife carefully remove inner seeds and veins. Lightly brush the peppers and their caps with some oil (any oil works, for this I used corn oil) and place in the oven for about 40 minutes or until they’re soft and sweet; make sure to turn the peppers half way through baking and keep a close eye on the caps that will most likely be ready earlier.
  3. While the peppers are roasting in the oven, prepare the filling: mix the buffalo ricotta and soft goat cheese in a bowl with a fork, press in the garlic cloves, add the olive oil and mix everything together; finish it off by seasoning with salt and pepper and adding some chopped fresh herbs (see recipe notes). See recipe notes for other dairy alternatives for the filling.
  4. Take the peppers out of the oven and reduce the heat to 350 °F. Carefully use a small spoon to stuff the peppers with the cheese filling.
  5. Place the peppers back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the filling is warm and almost oozing out of them.
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