If you’re looking for a fun & festive little appetizer, mini peppers might be just the thing. These mini peppers are slightly roasted and stuffed with a sophisticated mixture of goat cheese & herbs and then drizzled with a little balsamic honey right before serving.
Super easy to make, they’re even quicker if you pipe in the goat cheese. That’s a bonus because it makes them look a little fancier when it’s really kind of a cheat. It took just a couple minutes to fill these peppers. I might experiment a bit more next time – I think I could do a bit better on that piping, but it got the job done.
If you’d like, you could just fill these with a store-bought Boursin cheese, but I really like this combo of a little goat combined with a little cream cheese. It gives a creamy filling & a nice tang without being overwhelming.
If you want to take these over the top, drizzle with a little Balsamic Honey…goat cheese & honey just seem to have an affinity. As far as the herbs, you can pretty much use whatever strikes your fancy. I really like the Michel Chiarello’s Fennel Spice Rub and used it for these. But why not Italian, Greek or maybe Cajun spices?
Look for the Mini Peppers at Aldi – I see them often there for a lot less than the grocery store and there’s usually about a dozen in a package. Cream cheese is often on sale during the holidays, and I stock up because it keeps for weeks and can be frozen. Goat cheese at a great price can be a little trickier. Watch the cheese aisle for “hang tags” and check the brand’s website for coupons. The hang tags & coupons often have a long expiration date, so hang on to them and watch for a great sale.
Mini Peppers with Herbed Goat Cheese
- 1 package of mini bell peppers (about 12)
- 4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup chives, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning or Michael Chiarello’s Fennel Spice Rub or other blend of your choice (or use a tablespoon of a mix of fresh herbs of your choice, rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme work well)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prepare peppers by slicing each in half: lay out the peppers so they’re flat, then turn each one upright from that position by a quarter turn and slice. This way you’ll know each pepper will lay flat.
Clean out the seeds with a spoon and place the peppers on a foil lined (for easy clean up) baking sheet. Bake for about five minutes, remove and allow to cool before filling.
Mix the goat cheese, cream cheese, herbs of choice. Fill each cooled pepper halve by spoon or by piping the herbed cheese mixture. There should be enough to fill each pepper just about to the top.
May be eaten immediately or refrigerated. If using dried herbs/spices, these are actually better the next day.
If desired, drizzle with balsamic honey before serving. Mix about 2 tablespoons honey with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and drizzle a little back and forth across each filled pepper.
I’ll be bringing this to Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Laura @ Feast Wisely. Make sure to visit Fiesta Friday this week – I’ve already seen several wonderful St. Patrick’s day recipes among the recipes and do visit Laura and her delightful blog.