I have a fondness for goat cheese. That’s a polite way of saying I have an obsession that borders on madness. We always have goat cheese on hand, often more than one variety, and I start to get nervous when my supply runs low. I toss it in salads, top burgers and sandwiches with it, and often sneak it into pasta dishes. My orders at restaurants are entirely predictable if goat cheese is featured prominently on the menu.
As I began planning some south-of-the-border-inspired dishes for Cinco de Mayo, I had in mind a quick, flavorful little stuffed pepper appetizer to nibble on while sipping margaritas. Naturally, I reached for the goat cheese. Spicy, red cherry peppers stuffed with ever-so-sweet, creamy goat cheese combine to create little bites of bright flavor, and are a delicious way to kick off your next fiesta.
Creamy goat cheese and spicy cherry peppers combine for an easy and flavorful appetizer.
- 6–8 fresh cherry peppers (also called pimiento or pimento peppers), halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1/2 cup goat cheese
- 1/4 cup skim-milk ricotta cheese
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix together the goat cheese and the ricotta, until well combined. Season with the salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon the goat cheese into the cherry peppers, mounding the cheese up a bit. Arrange the stuffed peppers onto a sheet pan and roast for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese begins to turn golden brown. Turn on the broiler, and cook for another 1-2 minutes, watching the peppers carefully so that they don’t burn, until the cheese begins to just bubble. Serve warm.
If you can find honey goat cheese, try it. The hint of sweetness adds a nice balance to the heat of the peppers. If not, plain goat cheese will still be delicious!