Inspired by my Parisian peppers: you can roast your own if you have a glut of great red peppers, but the Spanish piquillo peppers, roasted and lying cozily in a tin, really: are wonderful, even for make-it-yourself moi. In the pic below you can see the bistro (Paris’ Bistro Balzar) served 3 tiny piquillo peppers; when I make it I serve one pretty large pepper; it really depends upon the size of the peppers you have available!
2 large roasted red peppers or 4 smaller piquillo peppers (see first paragraph below or note about pepper sizes above)
5 ounces soft goat cheese (from California or France), plain or herb/chive
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
A light sprinkle of pimenton (smoked Spanish paprika)
A few shakes of raspberry or balsamic vinegar
Handful young arugula, baby greens, young pea shoots, watercress, basil, whatever delicious little greens you fancy
1 tablespoon chopped chives, or chervil, or basil
If using large peppers, cut or tear each into two pieces; if using smaller piquillo peppers, leave them whole. Fill each pepper or pepper half with one quarter of the goat cheese; if using halved peppers, fold the pepper around the goat cheese; if using whole peppers, simply stuff them.
To serve cold: Place the stuffed pepper on a plate and sprinkle with the olive oil, chopped garlic, pimenton and a few sprinkles of raspberry vinegar. Accompany with greens, tossed in some of the olive oil and vinegar from the plate. Sprinkle with chives or other herbs, and serve.
To serve hot: Place the goat cheese-stuffed peppers in a heavy frying pan with the olive oil and garlic. Heat over medium-high heat on one side until it begins to sizzle, then turn over for a minute or two or until it heats through and the cheese just begins to run a little. Splash in the vinegar and sprinkle with the pimenton. Cook a minute or two longer, then serve on plates, with the greens, each hot pepper sprinkled with chopped chives or herbs.
Serves 4 as a starter