Spanish small plates, also known as tapas, are perfect for serving when guests are stopping by. These piquillo peppers are stuffed with goat cheese and Manchego, and finished with an herbed vinaigrette.
Yields 14 stuffed peppers.
Stuffed Piquillo Peppers
Pat the peppers with a paper towel to remove any excess brine. Trim the tops of the peppers.
In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese, Manchego, chives, honey, lemon zest and juice, paprika, 2 tablespoons of the reserved piquillo brine and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and white pepper. Mix together with a rubber spatula until well combined and smooth.
Put the mixture in a piping bag or a zip-close bag with a corner snipped off, and pipe it into the peppers, stopping 1/4 inch from the top. Refrigerate until 20 minutes before serving.
Bring the sherry vinegar, honey and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir a few times until the honey and salt have completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the golden raisins, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chives, mint, parsley and 3 tablespoons of the reserved piquillo brine.
To serve: Spread half of the vinaigrette over a serving plate and arrange the stuffed peppers on top. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette over the peppers. Garnish with the almonds and serve immediately.