Saturday, February 4, 2012

Seared Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Roncal Cheese

Roasted piquillo peppers are always in our pantry. They are nice blended in to make a sauce, added in a soup or to a salad and in a paella. So when I read this recipe, I was glad to have another reason to use it. This recipe was from Jose Andrés book Made in Spain. As you can see, I love his recipes, from the two recipes blogged here– the Spicy Chorizo with Mushrooms and Herb-Marinated Olives.

This had my guests rolling their eyeballs. And it is also a great tapa for your vegetarian guests. I recommend stuffing the peppers ahead of time so that when your guests arrive you sear and plate it within minutes. 

The piquillo pepper is a variety of chili traditionally grown in Northern Spain over the town of Lodosa. Its name is derived from Spanish for "little beak". If you cannot find these, you can substitute it with roasted red peppers. 

Roncal cheese is a Spanish sheep's milk cheese. It has a nutty and piquant flavor, with a firm and chewable texture. If not available, it can be substituted with Manchego cheese, which is readably available in most supermarkets. 

Serves 4 tapa portions
5 tbsp Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Spanish aged Sherry Vinegar
1 tbsp minced shallot
1/2 spring onion, white part only, thinly sliced
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
8 piquillo peppers
4 ounces Roncal cheese (Spanish sheep's milk cheese), cut into 2-inch thick sticks*
Fresh thyme sprigs
Fresh parsley sprigs
 *You could stuff these peppers with any of your favorite cheeses.

Whisk together 4 tbsp of the olive oil, vinegar and onions in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Cut a slit in each piquillo pepper and slide a piece of cheese in each.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a medium sauté pan on high heat. Add the peppers and brown on both sides, 30 seconds each.
Transfer the peppers to a plate.
Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with both thyme and parsley sprigs.
Serve immediately.


  1. Dear Nut without a Job,
    You must! It's a great do-ahead too when you're entertaining– stuff the peppers and make the dressing and store both in the refrigerator overnight. Bring it to room temperature before searing it. Your guests will love it and you will love not being stuck in the kitchen while you're guests sit around!

  2. Dear Simran
    Inviting people over this weekend!!