Our local pizza joint changed its recipe this spring. My husband and son like the bolder sauce, but I do not. However, the next nearest pizza place is about twenty minutes away – and this pregnant lady can’t handle that brand of pizza either. Since Pizza Friday constitutes one of my husband’s counter demands for weekly recipe experimentation, the tradition remains for everyone but me. Usually, I end up eating left-overs or an omelet, but today I decided to explore a variation on my super simple pepperoni rolls in the hopes that next Pizza Friday I’ll feel less excluded from the family meal.
I had bought some feta a few weeks ago for a recipe I ended up not preparing (I was sick with a nasty cold) and wanted to use it before it expired. Almost immediately, a recipe for red pepper and feta chicken that a college roommate’s mom prepared for us popped into my head. The combination of the flavor of the feta, red pepper, and freshly ground black pepper stuck with me eleven years later. However, I needed a simpler recipe that I could toss together on a Friday without much fuss. Pepperoni rolls are my go-to quick meal. Why not replace the pepperoni and Italian cheeses with sautéed red pepper and feta? Why not indeed! So, here’s the recipe:
1 package Pilsbury French Bread Dough
1 red pepper, diced
1 6-oz package crumbled feta cheese (you will not use all of it, so consider buying salad fixins’)
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cook the diced red pepper in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Feel free to use cooking spray if need be, but do not use oil. The idea is to cook out some of the liquid from the pepper so that the rolls won’t be soggy, so oil works against this process.
Open the French bread dough onto the baking sheet and use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Placing the cut sides on top and bottom, flatten the pieces into discs.
Sprinkle about a table spoon of red pepper and a tablespoon of feta onto each disc and press into the dough. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the filling and to the center of the disc, pressing into place. You will form a ball of dough that you then flip over on the baking sheet.
Sprinkle a little feta and a few pieces of red pepper onto the top of each roll.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes depending on how doughy you like your rolls. Keep in mind that the red pepper will release a little water still, so you may need to cook a minute or two longer than you normally would.
Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
The melted feta was creamy and the sweet red pepper nicely cut the cheese’s salty richness. Hide it all inside soft dough and it hits the spot! Another bonus is the ease of personalization – just like with pizza. This would be great with some broccoli added to the filling. You could try a little fresh black pepper or garlic powder as well. If you like traditional pepperoni rolls, the recipe remains the same, but use turkey pepperoni (less greasy than traditional and therefore the rolls don’t get soggy) and your favorite blend of Italian cheeses instead of red pepper and feta.