These little cocktail sticks have a cube of salty feta threaded through to off set the savoury sweet taste of the smoky grilled peppers.

Bell peppers as they are don’t excite me. I find them too overpowering either raw or cooked. I would rather not eat them. Bell peppers that have been grilled, then marinated and kept aside a few hours for the flavours to meld together are altogether quite different. The smell of smoky, black and blistering bell peppers grilled almost dangerously close to the heating element, warrants nothing more than a marinade in a good vinaigrette to make them delectable.

Whilst in Greece over the holidays, I had been introduced to a gourmet store which carried the best of produce from all over Greece. There I spotted a bottle labelled ‘Fig Balsamic Cream’. I like figs. I could see dark, syrupy looking goodness in that bottle. It went swiftly into my shopping basket. Once home, I opened the cap, tasted it and knew exactly what to do with this sticky, sweet and vinegary ‘cream’. Marinated grilled peppers of course. As soon as I thought of that, my mind did a double take. Wait a minute, I thought to myself, I have tasted that before. I have actually been making a Balsamic Vinaigrette that taste exactly like the contents of that bottle from Greece. I was torn between being pleased with myself that I already had this recipe under my belt and being rather disappointed that this Fig Balsamic Cream wasn’t different from anything else I have had. Well, the good from this is, if you have no excess to a bottle of Fig Balsamic Cream then I can tell you exactly how to make it!

This is the seventh recipe for the spread of meze I served at a recent party. I prepared 10 meze that were inspired by my holiday in Greece. Click here, Greek Meze, Another Selection Of Wonderful Little Bites. Scroll down to the end of the post and you will find a table spread of all the 10 meze, the names of the meze and links to recipes that I have already posted.

Marinated Grilled Peppers With Fig Balsamic Cream

Prep: 15 minutes 
Cook: 15 minutes
Inactive: 6 – 48 hours
Level: Easy
Makes: 8 little sticks
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes.
Make ahead? Yes, peppers can be roasted and marinated up to 2 days ahead. Might be assembled up to 2 hours before serving.

Ingredients

1 medium size red capsicum
1 medium size yellow capsicum
8 cubes (~0.59X0.59″)(~1.5X1.5cm) of feta cheese
8 capers
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
drizzle of balsamic fig cream/balsamic cream
sprinkling of chilli flakes/powder
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons Balsamic Fig Cream (purchase from shops)
If using Balsamic Fig Cream, add the following ingredients to it:
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
If not, make my recipe for Balsamic Cream:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon oregano,
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

Method

1. Grill the bell peppers whole under a broiler. They should be 1″ (2.5cm) below the heating element. The idea is to get them nicely roasted. The exterior will be pretty much blackened and charred looking. Slip them into a food safe plastic bag and seal. The steam will help loosen the skins, making it easier to peel off when completely cooled.

2. After you have peeled off the charred skins, cut the bell peppers into 0.78″(2cm) long strips. You want to be able to thread them through cocktail skewers. Set aside.
3. If you are using store bought Balsamic Fig Cream, whisk to mix in the oregano, extra virgin olive, sugar, salt and pepper.
4. If you are making my recipe for Balsamic Cream, whisk to combine all the ingredients now. Set aside.
5. Save 1 Tablespoon or so of the balsamic dressing you just made to dress the food later.
6. Marinate the bell peppers in the balsamic dressing for at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.

Assembing
1. When you are ready to assemble, taste the marinated bell peppers and adjust seasoning.
2. Thread a strip of bell pepper half way. Thread the cube of feta and finish threading the overhanging strip of bell pepper. Done this way, it will help secure the feta in place.
3. Thread the next strip of bell pepper. To prevent the bell peppers from slipping off the skewer, cap with a caper.
4. Arrange all the filled skewers on your serving plate. Dust with chilli flakes/power.
5. Drizzle with reserved balsamic dressing and extra virgin olive oil. It will look very pretty.

Tips

What to do with the remaining feta?
It’s the perfect time to make an ultra easy Grilled Cheese Meze! Recipe in upcoming post!

Make more Balsamic Cream
I use my recipe for Balsamic Cream almost all the time to dress my salads and fruits. My favourite fruits to use are figs, peaches, nectarines and strawberries. This is my Figs And Peppered Ricotta Salad.

WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?

What’s else but the Grilled Cheese Meze to use up the remaining feta!


My Greek inspired meze


First row. Left to right:
Slow Cooked Octopus In A Sherry Vinegar Garlic Marinade,
Moussaka – Baked Casserole Of Eggplants, Tomatoey Meat Topped With A Creamy White Sauce,

Santorini Fava A Delicious Yellow Split Peas Dip,
Grilled & Marinated Peppers With Fig Balsamic Cream
Second row. Left to right:
Greek Inspired Harissa-Style Hot Chilli Sauce To Go With Olives,
5 Minutes Grilled Cheese Meze,
Santorini Tomatoey Tomato Balls/Fritters
Third row. Left to right:
Crispy Whitebait And Sweet Onions Disk,
Pork Souvlaki Kebabs Skewers,
Tzatziki A Cucumber Yogurt Dip,
Oh So Soft Pita Bread

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