So let me start off with full disclosure: In the 3 years I’ve lived in Spain, I have never had stuffed piquillo peppers. What’s more, we’ve had several jars of piquillo peppers hanging out in the pantry for months while I’ve been at a loss for what to do with them. I finally found the motivation that I needed to investigate these peppers while watching an episode of Top Chef Spain a few weeks ago. A stuffed piquillo pepper challenge piqued my interest in the possibilities that these little triangular jewels have to offer. The majority of the competitors stuffed their peppers with cod, although you can also often find them stuffed with shrimp, meat or cheese. I wanted to try to replicate the cod version that seemed to me to be the most popular, but veganized.
Piquillo peppers have a smoky but slightly sweet flavour, which made it somewhat of a challenge to flavour my vegan filling. I wanted to keep the filling white while allowing the smokiness of the peppers to be the star. After some trial and error, it turned out that the simplest was the best – a basic cashew cream flavoured with shallot, garlic, white wine and lemon mixed with a little tofu to give it some texture. A simple tomato-cashew cream sauce added a bit of sweetness to balance out the smokiness of the peppers. The result is an easy tapa which was delicious served hot, and also surprisingly delicious after spending a day in the fridge and served cold.
The number of peppers that this recipe makes depends on the brand that you buy. Some brands pack large peppers and others small- to medium-sized peppers. If you find your peppers are quite large, you can easily double the filling.
Serving Size: 1 pepper
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 95 Total Fat: 5g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 319mg Carbohydrates: 12g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 5g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 3g