Roasted Red Peppers at the Efendy Restaurant in Halifax
I previously featured the very pleasant Efendy Restaurant in downtown Halifax when I reviewed their excellent Grilled Haloumi Appetizer. In my introduction to Efendy, I noted that the menu there was chiefly Turkish, but that there were dishes from other Mediterranean cuisines on offer as well. Their Roasted Red Pepper dish, shown above, was every bit as good as their Grilled Halloumi, and this lovely offering clearly showed a Greek influence with the inclusion of tangy Feta Cheese.
Now, I love Red Peppers in all sorts of things, but I especially favour them when they have been grilled beforehand, as this produces a terrific sweetness that makes them perfect for an appetizer. If you are interested in trying the process yourself, I have previously posted a short primer on How to Roast Red Peppers which will give you the basic idea of the culinary process underlying Efendy’s more complex version with Feta.
When I ordered this dish, I was rather expecting something along the lines of an Italian Antipasto dish with large pieces of pepper and just the odd chunk of feta scattered on top. Instead, both the pepper and the cheese were quite finely chopped and mixed together so that the Feta was really only distinguishable as small flecks here and there.
The Red Peppers came with a basket or torn Pita bread on the side, and this was very lightly sprinkled with dried Oregano, which made for an interesting and tasty enhancement. I suppose one could have used the Pita to dip into the Peppers, but I found it a little easier to spoon some of the blend onto each bite of bread first.
The Red Peppers themselves were absolutely delicious. They were grilled only briefly, I would say, given the bright red color, but the nice smoky notes of the process came through very well and the flesh was beautifully sweetened. The Feta came through with tangy and salty notes to complement the sweetness of the Peppers, and the fact that both the Peppers and the Feta were chopped finely had the effect of balancing the flavors of each ingredient so that neither one dominated. This pairing was excellent and I rated the Roasted Red Peppers at Efendy with top marks.