Old 07-01-2011, 01:04 PM
ksm ksm is offline
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 39
Default Spinach/Roasted Pepper/Goat Cheese/Garlic

An easy, tasty dish that gives folks something to snack on while waiting for the rest of the food to cook -- or for the oven to cool to pizza temps.

I used the small (4.5") cazuelas from La Tienda (LaTienda.com - Cazuelas from Spain), but I imagine this could be made as a one-dish group appetizer as well.

For four individual appetizers.
Spinach: Wash and spin dry about 1/2 lb fresh spinach. Tear leaves if they are really big; baby spinach can be left alone. We're anal about stems, so I de-stem as well.
Garlic: Finely mince 2-to-3 cloves of garlic (depending on clove size and your garlic preference/tolerance).
Fresh Goat Cheese: Mix garlic with 4 oz Chevre (or, as I did last night, a mix of Chevre & cream cheese, since we had very little Chevre left)
Peppers: Cut 12 strips (about 1/2" x 4") of roasted red peppers. *

Pile up a LOT of spinach in each cazuela.
Top with goat cheese. (To help cook the garlic a bit, I create three small "balls" of cheese for each dish.)
Lay red pepper slices decoratively across the goat cheese.

Into the WFO for 5 - 10 minutes, depending on temperature. Last night the rest of the oven was occupied, so we did these near the front of the oven where it was just under 400F. We cooked them with the door closed. Checked after 5 minutes; kept them in for another 5 min. When the oven has been hotter (say, when waiting for the oven to cook to pizza temp), we've also cooked them toward the front, but for closer to just 5 minutes without the door.

How do you know if these are ready? Look for a bit of browning on the cheese, but not much. The cheese won't spread much either. The spinach will wilt down and look a little dry.

The look is a little strange because of the dry spinach. So, drizzle a little olive oil over each dish to help the look. BUT once you dig in, the yummy goat cheese/garlic taste takes over.

Serve with bread or crackers.

* Option 2 is to acquire several small peppers (here we can get bags of small peppers of many different colors). Parboil the peppers, cut off the tops and stuff with the cheese. Depending on size, put one or two peppers per dish on top of the spinach stack.

** Option 3 is to use Peppadew peppers

This appetizer really is my sister's recipe that she copied from a now defunct local restaurant that had a wood fired oven.
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Old 07-01-2011, 04:16 PM
Dino_Pizza's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Northridge, CA
Posts: 1,017
Default Re: Spinach/Roasted Pepper/Goat Cheese/Garlic

Sounds really good ksm. I'm always on the lookout for appetizers you can make in the wfo.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:11 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Occidental, CA
Posts: 2
Default Re: Spinach/Roasted Pepper/Goat Cheese/Garlic

sprinkle with a little white wine and the dry look goes away and flavor is added.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Nebraska, USA
Posts: 96
Default Re: Spinach/Roasted Pepper/Goat Cheese/Garlic

This does sound like a good dish to have while we wait for the oven to get hot. Perhaps I will try this dish this weekend. I promised my wife a nice dinner for 2 and this seems like a very nice start. And what the heck, we can enjoy the rest of the white wine while we wait.
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