There’s no turning back. Spring is here and I’m excited that the days are getting longer, theÂ sun now warms my back, birds chirping, buds on trees are forming.
Although Canadians will grill even in the coldest months, we’re now upon outdoor grilling season and it won’t be too long before we’re eating outdoors.
This next dish is perfect for an outdoor gathering of family & friends. It’s a little early for local tomatoes but I found some sweet Roma tomatoes at the market. It’s been a long winter.
Baked Feta cheese…ever had it? If not – you should. This is a simple dish that’s hard to screw up. Just follow a few pointers for this meze and you’ll be offering this Greek taverna classic often.
First, although Feta is considered a soft cheese, it can also be found in a sem-hard form. You want to use a firmer Feta for this appetizer. Something that will stand up to the heat.
Use a sweet, slightly over-ripe tomato. The Feta cheese will only bake for 20 minutes…you don’t have that much time to concentrate the tomato’s flavour.
Finally, you may choose to place your slab of Feta in aluminum foil or a small earthenware vessel that’s covered in foil. Either way works.
There are many versions of Baked Feta out there, it’s a liberal recipe where you can dress it with tomato and oregano, choose another herb of your choice or even venture into combining savory with sweet. This version is similar to a Baked Feta I enjoyed last summer while on the island of Sifnos and my only addition was to add some Boukovo (Greek chilli flakes) into the mix.
Baked Feta (Î¦ÎÏ„Î± ÏˆÎ·Ï„Î®)
(makes for one appetizer)
1 slab of Feta cheese (choose a firmer Feta, 4″X4″ X1″)
1 ripe roma tomato, cut into slices
thinly sliced rings of banana or cubanelle pepper (or other sweet pepper)
extra-virgin olive oil
Pre-heated 400F oven
- Take a large piece of aluminum foil (say 12″X12″) and place on your counter-top. Ensure the shiny side of the foil is visible (face up, facing into the contents of the packet). Drizzle the center of the foil with olive oil and place the slab of Feta on top.
- Using a wooden spoon, place it parallel to your tomato and cut your thin slices of tomato. The wooden spoon will prevent the knife from cutting right through your tomato, slicing it while keeping it in tact.
- Place the tomato on top of the Feta and then carefully place a slice of green pepper between each tomato slice.
- Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with some chilli flakes and some dried Greek oregano.
- Seal the cheese packet well with your foil and place on a small baking dish (in case of any leakage). Place in your pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. If using an outdoor grill, preheat and place the cheese packet to one side of the grill, using indirect heat (cheese on the side with no heat underneath).
- Carefully remove the Feta packet and open up with a knife or scissors and serve with warm crusty bread.
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