Strong cheeses like goat cheese can often overwhelm Pinot Noir but not ours. This 2012 Carr Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County has great fruit and acid balance which complements this great appetizer. Santa Barbara County is known for producing some amazing Pinot Noirs and this one is no exception.
Stuffed Piquillo Peppers
- 10 oz. fresh goat cheese
- 3-4 tbsps. chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
- 3-4 tbsp. finely chopped basil
- salt & pepper
- 1 jar roasted piquillo peppers (about 24 peppers)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
For the vinaigrette
- 1/3 c. olive oil
- 3 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 small shallot, minced salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- salt & pepper
1. Preheat the broiler.
2. To make the filling, in a small bowl, use a wooden spoon to mash the goat cheese together with the chives and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drain the peppers. With your fingers, gently open the stem end of each pepper. Remove any seeds and ribs you can from the insides without cutting or tearing the pepper walls.
4. With a small spoon or your fingers, carefully stuff about 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese mixture inside each pepper. The cheese mixture should fill the peppers but should not be bursting out.
5. Arrange the peppers in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush them with the oil. Slip the pan under the broiler 4-6 inches from the heat source and broil until the cheese is soft and bubbly, about 7 minutes. Let cool slightly.
6. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, shallot, mustard and salt & pepper to taste.
7. Transfer the peppers to a serving dish. Drizzle liberally with the vinaigrette, sprinkle with chives, and serve.
(adapted by Williams-Sonoma)