‘Tis the season (well, almost) for gathering and celebrating and feasting with friends and family. The thing is, some stuff needs a little time. Not TIME, as in hours over a steaming pot; nope, this practically perfect in every way appetizer comes together in about an hour, but time, as in about a week, marinading in the fridge before serving.
But THEN, you have a fine jar of small peppers stuffed with aged provolone, and nicely seasoned oil for any holiday season gathering. Put a jar together today and chill.
•2 (16 oz) jars cherry peppers, drained
•4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed and halved
•1/2 red onion, sliced thin
•1/2 lb aged provolone, cubed
•Fresh rosemary sprigs
•2 cups olive oil
•2 cups canola oil
•1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
•1 tsp crushed red pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
A note on the peppers: you can use either the sweet or the hot peppers. I don’t think the ‘hot’ are really all that fiery – kinda like peperoncini – but they can be hard to find around about here.
Drain the peppers, cut a small slit in the side, and scoop out the seeds with your fingertip. I recently saw a demo where the chef pulled off the stem and scooped the insides that way, so you could try it that way.
Set the peppers aside and assemble the remaining ingredients.
Cube the cheese and place a piece (or two) inside each seeded cherry pepper. My peppers tend to vary in size, and my provolone was nicely aged and crumbly, so I matched each bit of cheese to fill whichever sized pepper I had.
Repeat with the remaining peppers and cheese, layering them in the jar with more of the onion, garlic, bay leaves, and rosemary.
Whisk the oils together with the Italian Seasoning, crushed red and Aleppo pepper, and pour over the peppers to fill the jar.
To serve, turn out some of the peppers and the oil mixture into a bowl and allow to come to room temperature. Add a bit of nice, crusty bread – Sweet Honey French works a treat – to soak up that tasty oil and you have yourself one fine munchie for the holidays.
We’ve been invited to friends’ for Thanksgiving, so I’m bringing a jar of these as a hostess gift. I hope they’ll share.