Spicy, briny, creamy, and salty, this simple, retro-inspired appetizer is an unabashed crowd-pleaser. The peppers can be stuffed ahead of time, but be sure to wrap them in smoked salmon just before serving.
- 1 (12-oz.) jar whole pepperoncini (about 18 peppers), drained
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 2 tbsp. crème fraîche, plus more for garnish
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped chives, plus more for garnish
- 2 tsp. lemon zest
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into 6-by-1-inch strips
- Make a 1-inch incision lengthwise in each pepperoncino. If you like, remove and discard the seeds. Dry peppers with paper towels; set aside. Mix cream cheese, crème fraîche, chives, zest, salt, and pepper in a bowl; transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1⁄2-inch tip. Pipe 1–1 1⁄2 tbsp. filling into peppers. Wrap a strip of salmon around each pepper and secure with a toothpick; garnish with more crème fraîche and chives, if you like.