Boy, talk about an easy appetizer. How about using just two ingredients (three if you want to add the chopped basil) for a pretty, delicious dish of bite sized morsels? Roasting the peppers is an easy thing to do and if you've never done this yourself, start now. You will have another great technique in your cooking arsenal that will come in very handy. You can use this method to make Peperonata or to roast peppers for a sauce or side dish.
When buying mozzarella, buy the kind that is packed in water in plastic tubs. Pleased don't buy that rubbery stuff that is vacuum sealed in plastic. Fresh mozzarella will always be packed in water. I buy the "ciliegine" ("little cherries") which are a perfect size for this dish. If you can't find those, buy the larger balls of mozzarella and just cut them up.
Roasted Pepper and Mozzarella Bites
makes about 20 pieces
for a printer friendly recipe click here
- 2 bell peppers, one yellow and one red
- 1 tub fresh mozzarella, preferably the cherry sized
- olive oil
- salt and pepper and/or seasoning that you like (I like Montreal Steak Seasoning for this)
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves
Set oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the whole peppers on the foil and place under broiler. When the tops of the peppers have turned black, take tongs and rotate peppers. Keep turning peppers until the skin is completely charred. Place peppers in a brown paper lunch sack or in a large zip lock bag. Close. Let steam for 10 minutes. Remove peppers to a cutting board and let cool.
After peppers have cooled, skins will slip off easily. Remove all skins and then cut peppers in half, removing stem carefully so peppers don't tear. Remove seeds carefully. Slice each pepper half into about 5 or 6 strips. Season pepper strips.
Drain 20 to 22 mozzarella balls. Place mozzarella in small bowl and drizzle some olive oil on them. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and/or your seasoning (don't be skimpy with the salt) and toss.
Take each mozzarella ball and wrap with a strip of pepper. Secure with a toothpick and place on serving platter. Repeat with remaining peppers and cheese. Slice some fresh basil, if you like, into chiffonade and sprinkle over the appetizers.