Marinated Red Peppers with Feta + Smoked Paprika

26 Feb

These marinated red peppers with feta and smoked paprika were the second tapas served at the recent O’Gourmet Food Hall Spanish red wine tasting. They were paired with a Gotes 2009, and the sweet-salty combination of the peppers and feta served to deepen and highlight the wine. The smoked paprika added depth and flavour without overwhelming the lush combination.

While this seems to be an easy dish, if you are preparing the peppers from scratch, it can be time consuming. When using fresh pepeprs, I blister them in a very hot oven, or over the fire on the stovetop. However, I have found that jarred or canned peppers work just as well – as long as you ensure an overnight marination in spices and herbs. I also feel that this is best assembled just before serving – the creaminess of the feta can leech into the peppers, and you end up with a scraggly looking mess. Put it all together a maximum of an hour before you serve it, and it stays gorgeous and clean. And as with the tapenade, a little fresh herb (in this case an oregano leaf) adds a pretty texture and taste to the final presentation.

This is a really easy and yet visually pleasing starter. You could serve it with, or even atop some french bread toasts, or you could add a salad and serve a few plated for a pretty starter.

I made approximate 20 individual tasters, but you could make as many as you please, by adjusting the amounts of peppers and feta.

Marinated Peppers with Feta and Smoked Paprika

 

Marinated red peppers

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (organic if possible)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 – 2 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 5 – 6 garlic cloves, sliced thickly
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 – 6 jarred / canned / blistered red peppers

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, salt and pepper, herbs, garlic, smoked paprika and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Prepare the peppers. They should be slick and soft. If you have blistered/roasted them from fresh, ensure that all seeds have been removed, as well as the skin. I use scissors for this next step. Cut / slice the peppers into long strips. You want something that will wrap itself around a cube of feta.

Place the strips of pepper into the olive oil mixture, cover and allow to marinate for at least 2 – 3 hours, preferably overnight.

To serve:

  • Marinated red pepper strips
  • Goat’s milk feta (approximately 2 cups), cubed
  • Fresh oregano
  • Toothpicks
  • Additional smoked paprika

Choose your prettiest red pepper strips. Wrap a strip of red pepper around a cube of feta, and place an oregano leaf on top. Skewer with a toothpick, and arrange prettily on a serving plate. Just before serving, sprinkle with additional smoked paprika for a deep bass note.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: