We received some wonderful produce from my dad’s longtime friend Nikos, who maintains a garden at his summer home outside of Athens. Among the produce we received was a large bag of cherry tomatoes which we pretty much finished in a couple of days. Another treasure were long green peppers. You usually find mild green peppers, but these were thin, and yes, they were spicy.
In Greece these type of peppers are usually either fried and served as an appetizer or mashed with feta cheese for a dip(I have made a similar one here).
But looking for a new way to make them, I posted a photo of them on my instagram account and asked for ideas. My former colleague Anna Kouvara, past chief editor of the Greek edition of Prevention where I used to write, suggested this great appetizer that I’m sharing with you today.
I made some tiny changes and the end result was yummy! Basically you roast the peppers (instead of frying) and then you serve it with a drizzle of some good extra virgin olive oil along with a mild fresh cheese. Here in Greece we have anthotiro which is similar to ricotta. The roasting instead of frying, as well as using anthotiro which is a fairly low fat cheese, makes this appetizer much healthier and don’t forget the antioxidants you will be getting from the peppers and olive oil. We enjoyed it with some Cretan barley rusks and a shot of ouzo and it was the perfect meze.
These peppers are known as Long Green Peppers or Green Chile. But basically a spicy pepper that combined with olive oil and a mild cheese makes it a perfect appetizer even for those who are not that much into spicy things.
Mediterranean Hot Green Pepper Appetizer
- Preheat oven at 350 Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius).
- Remove stem from peppers and make a long slit lengthwise from top to bottom (I removed the top part of the stem along with seeds on the top part for less heat).
- Add a few drops of olive oil in each pepper (I used an olive oil spritzer), some pepper and salt and a few pieces of garlic.
- Lightly grease the pan and place peppers cut side down.
- Roast for about 20 minutes. Peppers will begin to brown.
- Remove from oven. Place on a plate, drizzle with vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
- Add dollops of cheese on top, drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Sprinkle with dry oregano and some more ground pepper.
- Serve with whole grain rusks. Anna also recommends accompanying it with sardines.