Chips and salsa? Yawn. Hummus and pita? Boring. Jazz things up with these irresistible phyllo rolls with ricotta and Peppadew peppers. They’re a totally unexpected snack for game days and cocktail parties.
“The filling is easy to whip up—make it with flavorful Peppadew peppers, which are often found on the olive bar in grocery stores,” explains recipe developer Erin McDowell. “If you can’t find the tart and lightly sweet peppers, you can substitute jarred roasted red peppers.”
Roll the filling up in phyllo dough like a burrito and finish it with simple DIY fennel salt and a spicy-sweet dipping sauce.
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8 ounces (226g) ricotta cheese
⅓ cup pickled Peppadew peppers, drained and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
24 sheets phyllo dough
6 ounces (170g) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon flaky salt
Hot pepper jelly or sweet chili sauce, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta, peppers, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper.
3. Open the phyllo dough and unfurl it. Cut the dough in half (you’re aiming for 6-by-8-inch rectangles, but the exact size may vary by brand of dough). Cover the dough with a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel so it doesn’t dry out while you assemble the cigars.
4. Place one sheet of cut phyllo on your work surface, with one of the shorter sides facing you. Lightly brush the dough all over withmelted butter, top it with another piece of dough and then brush that piece all over with butter too.
5. Place about 2½ teaspoons of filling in a horizontal line in the middle of the dough, and roll the dough around it like a burrito. (Fold the lower half over the filling, tuck in the sides and then roll up.)
6. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling; you should end up with 24 pieces. The cigars can be frozen at this point and baked later: Line them up (close but not touching) on parchment-lined baking sheets and freeze until thoroughly chilled. The frozen cigars can then be stored in plastic freezer bags and baked right from the freezer.
7. In a small sauté pan, toast the fennel seeds over medium heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds. In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, coarsely grind the seeds, then stir in the flaky salt.
8. Bake the cigars: Transfer the cigars to the prepared baking sheets—they can be relatively close together, but they shouldn’t be touching. Brush the top of each piece with any remaining melted butter, sprinkle with the fennel salt and bake until golden and crisp, 17 to 22 minutes.
9. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Serve with jelly or chili sauce for dipping.