Blistered Banana Peppers With Cheese 4.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post

Nov 10, 2015

This riff on a classic recipe from Florina, a region in northwestern Greece, embodies the country's love of stuffed foods, says William Wright, head chef of Helen Greek Food and Wine in Houston.

He prefers banana peppers for their mild tang but says just about any fresh pepper of similar size can be used. Feel free to experiment with different cheeses, as the imported Greek varieties can be hard to find. A feta of true Greek origin, even used on its own in place of the cheese combination called for here, will yield fantastic results.

Make Ahead: The par-roasted peppers can be stuffed, covered and refrigerated a day in advance. Bring them to room temperature before broiling.

Where to Buy: Manouri and kefalotyri cheeses are available at Thomas Market in Wheaton.


Servings:
4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 8 medium banana peppers (see headnote)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt or fine sea salt
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) freshly grated manouri cheese (may substitute ricotta salata; see headnote)
  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) freshly grated kefalotyri cheese (may substitute pecorino Romano; see headnote)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta (see headnote)
  • 1 cup packed, crumbled corn bread, plus more for garnish (see related recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut off the stem ends of the peppers and discard any seeds and large ribs inside. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season lightly with salt. Roast for 5 to 10 minutes or until the peppers appear glossy and have just started to soften. Let them cool while you assemble the filling.

Position the top oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler.

Combine the three cheeses, cup of crumbled corn bread, teaspoon of oregano and teaspoon of thyme in a mixing bowl. Pack the peppers with the mixture, returning them to the baking sheet as you work. (You might have a little bit of the mixture left over; it can be used as a garnish.)

Broil for a few minutes, just until the peppers' skin starts to blister and the cheese begins to melt.

Transfer the peppers to a platter or divide among individual plates; garnish with crumbled corn bread, oregano, thyme and a good drizzle of the oil. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

From William Wright, executive chef at Helen Greek Food and Wine in Houston.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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