I love tapas night! And, sometimes life gets so busy that I forget how much fun it really is. So, to help remind me, and to build a great fun tapas spread, I’m bringing you some awesome Tapas recipes for the next few posts, starting with this deliciously full-flavored and easy to make Grilled Red Pepper and Garlic Dip.
Let me back up a bit, in case you don’t do Tapas night around your house (and oh you totally should!). Wikipedia defines Tapas as, “a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. They may be cold … or hot …. “. From hummus to veggies to nuts, meats, crackers, dips, spreads, cheeses, just about anything fits into the Tapas spread. And, part of the fun of Tapas night is that you get to mix and match flavors and textures. We like to sit in the backyard and have Tapas. It’s just such a refreshing break from the day-to-day activity of life.
Besides serving this Grilled Red Pepper and Garlic Dip with fresh veggies, crackers, or sourdough bread that’s been lightly brushed with olive oil and grilled until golden brown (my favorite way to enjoy this dip!), this is also a delicious sauce for grilled shrimp (which are a fun addition to Tapas night), fish, or tofu.
Don’t worry about soaking the skewer in water if all you have is a wooden skewer; it’s over the fire for such a short amount of time it won’t catch fire, but you will want to use tongs to pick it up. If you have a small metal skewer, feel free to use that. The metal skewers that I have are much too large to fit through a garlic clove without breaking the clove apart, so I use wooden skewers here.
- 6 large garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- 1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 red bell peppers
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 slice sourdough bread, torn into small pieces
- Preheat the grill to medium-hot.
- Slide the garlic cloves onto a skewer, spacing them slightly apart. Brush the skewered garlic with 1 teaspoon of oil.
- Place the whole bell peppers and skewered garlic directly on the grill rack over the heating elements of a gas grill. Cover the grill. Cook the garlic until the cloves are lightly browned, about 2 ½ minutes per side. Cook the peppers, rotating them as necessary, until the skin chars and blisters evenly, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- While the peppers are hot, place them in a large bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow them to steam for 5 minutes. Remove the peppers from the bowl and, peel the skin. The skin should slip off easily using your fingers. Remove the stem, the membranes, and the seeds from the peppers, and coarsely chop them, placing them in the bowl of a food processor.
- Add the garlic, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, paprika, smoked paprika, oregano, salt and pepper to the food processor along with the chopped red pepper. Pulse briefly until all ingredients are combined and starting to get chopped. Add the torn bread, and process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, until the mixture is thick and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour to allow flavors to get to know each other. Taste, and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper as desired.
- Serve the dip with fresh veggies, crackers, or sourdough bread that’s been lightly brushed with olive oil and grilled until golden brown.
- Makes about 2 cups dip or sauce