Laura says: “Bite-sized cherry bomb peppers sizzle against their creamy Gorgonzola filling in this three-ingredient appetizer. Assemble ahead of time and roast just before serving. Don’t be deterred by the word ‘bomb’ in the name – most of the spiciness is in the discarded seeds, while the flesh of this cherry-shaped pepper is of medium heat.”

Stuffed Cherry Bomb Peppers
Makes 16

1 small cauliflower, cut into florets and core discarded
2 1/2 ounces  (70 grammes) Gorgonzola cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 cherry bomb peppers
1 teaspoon olive oil

Availability: Specialty markets and farmers’ markets, mainly in summer

Selection: Look for bite-sized peppers with firm, bright red skin; also sold as red cherry chili


Storage: Refrigerate in a paper bag for up to 1 week

Safety: Although these peppers are only medium-heat level, wash your hands after handling and avoid touching your face

Substitutions: Fresh piquillo peppers


1. Steam the cauliflower florets until soft, about 15 minutes. Blend in a food processor to make about 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower purée. Add the cheese and process until smooth. Add the sea salt and black pepper to taste.

2. Toss the cherry bomb peppers in the olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Slice the tops off the peppers and set them aside for later.

3. Scrape out the seeds using a melon baller or small spoon. Fill the peppers nearly to the top with the purée using a pastry bag or a squeeze bottle, and then press the tops back on the peppers, securing with a toothpick.

4. Place the stuffed peppers on a baking sheet and broil close to the flame for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning the peppers every few minutes, until softened and blistered in places. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing the toothpicks and serving.

Excerpted from The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook by Laura McLively. Photos by Erin Scott. ​Copyright 2018. Parallax Press.

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