After previous recipe from Lebanon, I stay within Mediterranean region with first bite from The Country Cooking of Greece (Chronicle Books, September 2012) by Diane Kochilas.
Roasted Red Pepper Saganaki, Saganaki me Piperies Florinis
Serves 4 as a meze
Roasted red peppers are a natural match for all sorts of cheeses, but especially the sour, briny kind like feta, and the naturally fermented cheeses such as galotyri and katiki. This recipe calls for accessible and tasty Kasseri. The sweetness of the roasted peppers pairs beautifully with the tartness of these and so many other Greek cheeses. This dish comes from northern Greece, where Florina peppers are a regional signature. Long and horn-shaped, they are in season at the very end of summer and into early fall. Florina peppers are usually consumed roasted. You can find them commercially in brine or olive oil.
2 red bell peppers, roasted, with their juice; or 3 roasted red Florina peppers in brine or olive oil, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup/60 ml extra-virgin Greek olive oil
1 large red onion, halved and sliced 1/8 in/3 mm thick
1 tbsp Greek sweet vinegar (glykadi) or balsamic vinegar
4 oz/115 g kasseri cheese, cut into small cubes
Set aside the bell pepper juices that have collected during roasting. Peel and seed the bell peppers and cut into ½-in/12-mm strips.
Heat the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes, or until the onion begins to caramelize lightly. Add the roasted peppers and their juices, heat through, and stir in the vinegar. Continue cooking until the pan juices are reduced by half and almost syrupy.
Scatter the cheese over the onion–roasted pepper mixture, reduce the heat to low, cover the frying pan, and let the cheese and onion– roasted pepper mixture cook together for about 1 minute, or until the cheese is melted. Season with pepper and serve immediately.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission of the publisher from 'The Country Cooking of Greece' by Diane Kochilas- Chronicle Books, September 2012- Photos by Vassilis Stenos- all rights reserved)