What’s red, spicy, and oh-so elegant? To me, there can only be one answer: a Peppadew pepper! If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know how much I love Peppadew peppers (I wrote about Peppadew on several occasions, such as here, here and here).
I first tasted these peppers at a food show I attended when we lived in the UK. I was taken by their unusual flavor, which is a mix of sweetness and heat. At first, you get an assertive taste of sweetness (which to me was surprising the first time I tried these peppers, since I expected them to be on the savory side). And then, just when you thought there was nothing else to discover, you get a hint of heat, whose subdued sophistication leaves you wanting more. I don’t have a high tolerance for spiciness, so Peppadew‘s subtle heat is just about right for me. Last but not least, their vibrant color and elegant size make them look great on the plate. Peppadew are sooo cute, aren’t they? 🙂
This appetizer is super quick and effective. With 4th of July fast approaching and with my energy levels being irremediably low, I started thinking of apps which could be made very quickly, and the idea of stuffing Peppadew with mozzarella balls first crossed my mind.
I distinctly remember seeing this stuffing method/recipe somewhere (?) in the past, so I cannot claim originality when it comes to the overall concept behind this appetizer. Where I have tried to be original has been in the composition of the marinade for the mozzarella balls (I used Belgioioso’s superb perline aka “pearls”). I let the pearl-sized mozzarella balls marinate in the fridge overnight in a mixture of fresh chopped oregano, thyme, and parsley, with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. If you don’t have that much time at your disposal, then 1 to 2 hours should be enough time to allow the cheese to absorb all of the delicious herbaceous flavors. Feel free to add some chili flakes to make your app even spicier 🙂
Stuff the Peppadew with the mozzarella pearls, making sure to be gentle enough so as not to break the delicate peppers. You can serve them as such, on a white serving plate likely to accentuate their beauty…
… or with balsamic vinegar drizzled all over. As you can see, I got a little bit carried away at this stage, lol!
Whether you like them served on their own, or with chili flakes or balsamic (or maybe even both?), these stuffed Peppadew peppers are a sure crowd-pleaser this 4th of July and on any entertaining occasion. Their preparation is effective and manageable (you can make the herb marinade a few days in advance!), their flavors are sophisticated and multilayered, and the end result is a complex mix of cheesy goodness and delightful heat. Who knew Peppadew could make your apps a breeze? I did – and I’m here to share the spicy news 🙂
Have you used Peppadew peppers before? What’s your favorite Peppadew recipe? Let me know in the comments!
Peppadew peppers stuffed with mozzarella
- 24 Belgioioso perline mozzarella balls, drained
- 24 red Peppadew peppers, drained
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
- 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
- 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the mozzarella with the oil, herbs, and salt and pepper in a medium size bowl. "Massage" mozzarella with your hands until uniformly coated with oil and herbs. Cover bowl with foil, and leave the cheese to marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.
- Take the mozzarella balls out of the marinade and dry slightly with a paper towel. Place 1 mozzarella ball inside each Peppadew pepper, handling the peppers gently so as not to break them. Serve slightly chilled, on their own or with balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top.