Piquillo peppers are very popular in Spain. Although peppers originated in the Americas, they were brought back to Spain on Columbus' first trip, and over the years particular varieties were developed in Spain, piquillos being one of them. In fact, they have their own D.O. or Denomination of Origin. Piquillos are small (approximately 2.5 to 3 inches long and 2 inches wide), triangular-shaped peppers with a rich flavor. They have deep red skin and flesh, so make a striking presentation. Because of their small size and unique shape, piquillos seem tailor-made for tapas, and for stuffing. Generally, piquillo peppers are purchased in jars, already roasted.
This is a simple, no-cook recipe that is perfect for serving at last-minute gatherings or as a cold first course with summer meals. Flake grilled or canned pink salmon, mix with mayonnaise and spices, stuff into peppers and serve.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings
- 12 roasted piquillo peppers*
- 1 grilled salmon fillet, skin removed (or substitute canned salmon, drained)
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp Spanish paprika
- 1/4 cup diced cucumber
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 sprig flat leaf parsley for garnish (optional)
* Use roasted piquillo peppers, which can be purchased in cans or jars at gourmet or ethnic food stores, and via internet shops.
Drain the piquillo peppers in a colander or sieve while preparing the filling.
Prepare the Filling - Flake the salmon into small pieces with a fork, and place in a medium mixing bowl. (If using canned salmon, be sure to drain well before using.) Peel and dice cucumber, and add to the salmon. Add the mayonnaise, paprika, salt and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Add more mayonnaise if mixture is not moist, and adjust seasonings to taste.
Stuff the peppers - While holding a pepper in one hand with tip pointing down, carefully spoon salmon mixture into each pepper. While filling, press salmon mixture in gently, or the peppers will rip. Be careful not overfill them if serving as a tapa because guests will find it difficult to handle them.
Optional Garnish: Chop the fresh parsley and sprinkle over the top of the peppers.
Tip: A standard teaspoon may be too large to use to stuff the peppers. Use a small demitasse spoon to make filling the peppers easier.
For a non-seafood dish, use shredded chicken breast instead of the salmon, and prepare garlicky alioli sauce instead of the plain mayonnaise.
More Spanish Seafood Tapas Recipes
- Mari's Stuffed Mussels Tapa Recipe - Tigres de Mari
- Shrimp-Stuffed Roasted Peppers Recipe - Pimientos de Piquillo Rellenos de Gambas
- Mussels in Tomato Vinaigrette Recipe - Mejillones en Vinagreta de Tomate
- Red Peppers with Anchovies Recipe - Pimientos Rojos con Anchoas
- Pimientos Rellenos de Atun - Red Peppers Stuffed with Tuna