Piquillo peppers are grown in the town of Lodosa, Navarre, Spain. Their name translates to “little beak,” as their pointy tips resemble a bird’s beak. Mild in fl avor and similar to bell peppers in texture, they are generally sold jarred in brine or olive oil. They’re perfect for stuffing or roasting.
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating a frying pan
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- One 12-ounce jar grilled piquillo peppers, drained and patted dry
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- Thick toasts made from your choice of bread, such as a baguette
Roast the eggplant directly over a gas flame, turning occasionally, until charred all over and soft, about 12 minutes. (Alternatively, halve the eggplant lengthwise and roast at 425°F until tender, about 30 minutes.) Transfer to a colander and let cool slightly, then peel and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cook the garlic in the oil over medium heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vinegar, honey, rosemary, oregano, and minced parsley. Season the vinaigrette generously with salt and pepper.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet filmed with olive oil. In batches if necessary, add the piquillos to the skillet in an even layer. Cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Add the piquillos to the warm vinaigrette and let cool completely.
In a food processor, combine the eggplant with both cheeses and purée until smooth. Scrape into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spread the whipped eggplant on toasts, and using a slotted spoon, spoon some of the marinated piquillos on top. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Serves 4 to 6 as a tapa — Recipe from Food and Wine, May 2016