Post update from July of 2009. The recipe that’s not really a recipe, more the idea of pairing grilled asparagus with roasted peppers and Feta cheese. I’ve updated the photos and I think they sell this meze all on their own.
There really isn’t a recipe here, more of a recommendation to try this combo out. I’ve been enjoying asparagus with Feta and roasted peppers this year since asparagus started appearing on the market.
For the asparagus, you can blanche them quickly in salted water (a couple of minutes) OR steam them OR toss them in oil, season with salt and pepper and grill (my preference) on both sides for just over a minute a side.
Roasting peppers…so easy, so tasty and so good for you! I can remember our family roasting peppers on the grill as long as my memory serves me. When I use the term “roast” here, I mean char/blacken the skins.
DO NOT try and complicate the uncomplicated. Char/blacken the skins of your peppers, whole. Don’t cut them them up as that will dry out your peppers, you’ll lose any juices captured inside the whole roasted pepper and finally, think about it…the time you think you’re saving by cutting them up will actually take more time (then if your were to remove the skins of a whole pepper).
Are you scared of handling the peppers? Are you wearing latex gloves? C’mon! You’re handling food, not bio-hazard material!
After you’ve roasted your peppers you can do one of three things:
- Place the peppers in a paper back and seal;
- Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with cling-wrap;
- Place the peppers in a plastic bag
All three options will do the same job – sweat the peppers so that you can peel/remove the charred skins away from the succulent, smoky flesh of the peppers.
You can lay the peppers out whole on a plate or cut them up in ribbons (like for this dish).
Season your peppers with sea salt and toss in extra-virgin olive oil (some minced garlic is nice too).
Finally, you need some Feta cheese here. When I use the term anywhere on my site, I’m talking about real Feta cheese. That is to say Feta cheese that is made in Greece with either sheep or goat milk or a combo of the two.
Any other cheese made outside of Greece is not real Feta and chances some cow’s milk is also in the mix. Why should you care? First off- flavour. With a dish like this with so few ingredients, you want quality ingredients…fresh peppers and asparagus, extra-virgin olive oil and Feta cheese (Greek).
Costco in the US sells Dodoni Feta, Greece’s largest brand of Feta and if there’s a Greek community or restaurant near where you live, chances are you’ll be able to find Feta cheese. Ask your Greek friends…they’ll tell you where to go!
If (IF) you can’t find Feta cheese from Greece, at least seek out a cheese made from goat or sheep’s milk and please do ask your cheese purveyor why they do not carry it. As a consumer, demand real Feta cheese. If you live in the United States, my friends at Christos Marketplace are more than pleased to send you Greek Feta via mail-order.
Finally, the assembly of this side dish/appetizer/meze is simple:
- Lay the asparagus on to your serving plate to act as a bed;
- Place a mound of roasted pepper ribbons on the asparagus;
- Crumble some Feta cheese on top and finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
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