Goats Cheese, Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

I saw these mini peppers at the market and thought they are just asking to be stuffed with something delicious!

I love goats cheese and knew I had some spinach in the freezer, so decided to make a creamy goats cheese and spinach filling and add in some smoked bacon too. The end result was super delicious and just the thing to eat with drinks as it was SO hot over the weekend.

Stuffed peppers

Ingredients:
1 punnet (around 300g) of mini mixed peppers
1 100g pack of French Chevre, or any other goats cheese
100g of full fat cream cheese
100g of frozen spinach, thawed and all the water squeezed out
200g of smoked streaky bacon
Freshly ground black pepper

Method:
Pre heat the oven to 200°C/400°F

Place the bacon on a foil lined backing tray and cook in the oven until cooked through and crisp, leave to cool before snipping into small pieces.

While the bacon is cooking, slice the peppers lengthways, remove any seeds and membranes and place in a oven proof dish.

Mix together the cheeses and spinach with a few grinds of black pepper. Stir in the bacon. I don’t add any extra salt as the cheese and bacon both contain salt.

Using a spoon, fill the pepper halves with the cheese mixture and bake for around 20 minutes until the tops are just staring to catch.

These are delicious served at room temperature with drinks on a hot day, but equally as enjoyable, served warm with red wine on a cold day.

Pepper closeup

Panzanella

Originally a Tuscan summer peasant dish made with tomatoes, lots of red onion and soaked stale bread.  This is a very loosely based version and uses toasted cubes of sourdough, no capers and the onion is toned down too, making it more child friendly.

Panzanella2

I’ve had some very bad Panzanella salad in the past with mushy wet bread and sludgy ingredients.  Great, if that’s your thing, but I wanted the fresh summer flavours of the original, without the sludge!  I love sourdough bread, especially toasted sourdough bread!  I thought how good cubes of toasted bread would be with all the other vegetables and dressing. Its super easy to make and I really like to take this salad to work with me too.

Ingredients:
1 red pepper – cut into cubes
1 yellow pepper – cut into cubes
Assorted cherry tomatoes – halved
Cucumber – cut in half lengthways, de-seeded and chopped into half-moons fairly thickly
Small bunch of basil leaves
Small sourdough loaf cut into cubes, or any other French crusty loaf, preferably a day old.
¼ cup olive oil

Dressing:
5 Spring onions/scallions, very finely chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbs white wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method:
Heat oven to 180°C/350°F.  Evenly coat the bread cubes in the oil and spread out on a sheet pan.  You can either do this with your hands or use an oil sprayer if you have one for an even distribution.  Toast in the oven for around 15-20 minutes until crisp, turning a couple of times.

Mix together the peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes.  Then stack the basil leaves on top of one another, roll them up like a cigar and slice into thin ribbons (chiffonade).  Add the shredded basil to the vegetables, enough dressing to moisten and toss everything together together.

Great for a summer lunch and perfect for a lunchbox.

Summer Vegetable and Goats Cheese Wellington

Super easy to make – summer vegetables and goats cheese encased in puff pastry.  A tasty and filling lunch dish, that is good hot or cold and served with lots of salad.

Roast Veg parcel

Ingredients:
1 red pepper, cut into large chunks
1 yellow pepper, cut into large chunks
2 small courgettes/zucchini, halved lengthways and cut into chunks
2 red onions, cut into wedges
1tbs dried oregano
1 pack of chestnut/cremini mushrooms, chopped
½ clove garlic microplaned (optional)
Small bag of baby spinach, washed and spun dry
1 tbs Thyme leaves, chopped
Goat cheese, such as chevre, roughly broken up into crumbles
Puff pastry – either home made or shop bought and rolled into a rectangle
1 tbs butter
1tbs olive oil
1tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Egg and a little milk for brushing

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C

Roasted veg

Toss the peppers, courgettes and onions in half the olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper and roast until tender and the edges starting to brown. This will take around 30 minutes. Leave to cool

In the meantime, sauté the mushrooms on a medium heat in the butter and olive oil with the garlic until golden. Remove and using the same pan, add the spinach and sauté for another minute or two until wilted and leave to cool.

Place the puff pastry onto a lined baking sheet and cut thick strips around the edge, leaving the centre intact.

Mix together all the vegetables and thyme and place onto the pastry, topping with the goats cheese.

Brush the strips with a little of the egg wash and fold over the ends first and then alternate side strips until the filling is encased. Cover with cling film and chill for an hour or overnight if you are making ahead.

When you are ready to bake, brush the egg wash all over the pastry and bake for around 45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through.

Roasted veg parcel sice