Marinated Bell Peppers w/Goat Cheese

I love peppers…bell, shepherd, banana and even the hot spicy ones. They are versatile, tasty and can be cooked in various ways. Used throughout the world today, sweet peppers are often associated with Italian, Mediterranean and Asian cuisine and their spicy counterparts with Mexican, Spanish, Caribbean and South Asian. They are bright, beautiful and filled with nutrients. Their cultivation in the Old World is actually attributed to their discovery in the New World.

Prehistoric remains in Peru show that peppers existed and were cultivated in Central and South America in very early times. Columbus brought them to Europe in 1493, and they were quickly adopted and cultivated.

Bell peppers as they are most commonly known have a slightly sweet flavour that is enhanced when cooked. My favorite way to prepare a Bell or Sweet pepper is to toss it directly on the grill whole or into the coals of an open fire. The skin blackens and when plunged into cold water slides off easily leaving juicy sweet tasting flesh that can be used in sauces, as an antipasto or served as a side with a meal. My recipe is a homage to the Old, the New, my Gypsy heritage and is personally dedicated to my dear Gypsy friend Violca and her LOVE of Goat Cheese.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ingredients

2 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
(Shepherd peppers may also be used in place of Bell)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup goat cheese (Feta may also be used for this recipe)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Core and seed bell peppers. Cut each into six wedges, and place into a resealable plastic bag. Add garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Toss, seal, and set aside to marinate at least 20 minutes or overnight for a more intense flavour.
Preheat your outdoor grill and lightly oil the grate. Stir the goat cheese and half of the lemon juice together in a small bowl; set aside.
Cook the peppers, skin-side-up on the grill until lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip the peppers over, and carefully spoon the cheese onto each pepper. Close the lid of the barbecue, and continue cooking until the bottoms are lightly charred and the cheese is warm, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not over cook. Peppers will burn and cheese will melt into you grill and catch fire.

4 peppers will yield 8 to 10 servings.

FOOTNOTE: Goat Cheese has a rich, creamy texture and taste, melted goat cheese is highly addictive. If you find yourself wishing to smother all foods in this cheese please seek help a.s.a.p