This was one of the many simple sides made during the Middle Eastern Feast. One of the great things about this side is that it acts as a shortcut to make several sides: overlap a few ingredients here and there and simply wipe out the cuisinart between sides. I bought a big ol’ block of feta and used just half of it to make this spread. I had to buy areppo pepper for a couple of the other dishes, and I roasted peppers to have as a side and to sprinkle on top of a few different dishes. So here’s how to roast sweet peppers, and turn simple feta into a tasty and creamy spread.
Sweet and Spicy Pepper Feta Spread adapted from Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean
4 medium sized sweet red or yellow peppers
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground aleppo pepper
1/4 teaspoon Spanish paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 pound feta, drained
1 Tablespoon sriracha (or more)
Parsley for garnish (optional)
To roast the peppers: Heat the oven to 425. Rub the peppers with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Roast on a cookie sheet for about 15-20 minutes, turning over once in the middle. Turn the heat up to broil and broil on each side for about 2-3 minutes (for a total of 6-8 minutes), or until the sides are all blackened. Remove the peppers from the heat, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam themselves while you make the rest of the spread.
Place all ingredients, minus the bell peppers, in a food processor. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off with your fingers. Remove the top of the pepper and pull out the seeds. Add 2 of the cleaned and roasted peppers to the feta. Puree until completely smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until set.