November 30, 2020
Looking for an easy appetizer? Serve this baked feta with tomatoes and olives warm from the oven with toasted baguette slices or crackers. It is guaranteed to be a hit.
Last week’s Thanksgiving Day festivities involved 4 Zoom calls.
Our family spans 2 time zones and different traditions on when everyone serves the big meal: for lunch or an early dinner.
Like most everyone else, we still made the same turkey and sides despite the fact that our in-person group was limited to our 4-person bubble.
Even though it was the furthest thing from normal, we stayed positive.
Fingers-crossed for holiday season 2021, right?
I find myself longing for those December gatherings. They range from a friend who hosts an annual cookie baking extravaganza to those more informal, small get-togethers.
No matter the size, what they all have in common is the food. They tend to be assorted bites from cheese and charcuterie spreads to dips.
Yes, I will miss the people and conversation, but I am yearning for that kind of eating, too.
Who doesn’t love an elevated snack dinner with a glass of wine or a cocktail?
Despite not having the usual crowd, I have decided to fully embrace appetizers at our house.
And this baked feta with olives and tomatoes is a current favorite.
If you are a fan of feta, add some dried seasonings and accompaniments and warm the cheese in the oven and you will be hooked. Trust me.
You might even be glad you don’t have to share with a group.
Feta on its own is a cheese that is full of flavor and kind of salty.
Olives and tomatoes naturally pair with feta.
I like using a Greek olive mix. It is up to you if you use olives that are pitted or still have their pits.
My preference are olives with pits because I think they taste better, but of course, this does make eating them less graceful.
For tomatoes, I crack open a jar of roasted marinated tomatoes. You can find these at the olive bar at the grocery or in the Italian food section with the jarred roasted peppers.
First, I preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Then I put a block of feta in the middle of a small baking dish. It’s important that there’s room around the cheese for the olives and tomatoes, but you don’t want to be swimming in too much space.
I combine the olives, tomatoes and sliced garlic in a bowl and then spoon them around the cheese.
Since things end up being snug in the baking dish, I like mixing the olives, tomatoes and garlic in a separate bowl, so I get an even distribution of ingredients.
In a small bowl, I stir together olive oil with dried oregano, red pepper flakes, a little salt and black pepper.
Then I spoon that over everything in the dish.
I bake the cheese for 15 minutes or so, and then I switch on the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese.
It’s helpful to have the dish on a top rack in the oven that’s 4-6 inches from the broiler.
Once the feta is golden brown, sprinkle it with chopped parsley and oregano leaves. Then serve it with toasted baguette slices or crackers.
If for some reason you end up with leftovers, break up the feta and toss it in pasta, on a pizza or with cooked grains. It’s good on a sandwich, too.
This baked feta is wonderfully garlicky and herby.
Make sure not to miss those roasted garlic slices. Wow.
5 from 1 reviews
1–6 ounce block feta, drained
1 cup assorted olives, pitted or with pits
1/3 cup chopped marinated roasted tomatoes
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley and oregano leaves
Toasted baguette slices or crackers for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange a top rack in the oven 4-6 inches from the broiler.
Place the feta in a small baking dish. The cheese should have some space around it for the olives and tomatoes.
In a medium bowl, combine the olives, tomatoes and garlic. Then spoon them around the feta.
Whisk together the olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper in a small bowl.Pour the olive oil over everything in the baking dish.
Bake the feta for 15-18 minutes, until it just starts browning at the edges. Turn on the broiler, and brown the top of the cheese, about 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and oregano leaves before serving warm with toasted baguette slices or crackers.
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Cant wait to make this
Looks delicious. I buy Bulgarian Feta in a tin – there are about 6 round disks in each tin. I have baked it with olive oil, but will do your recipe from now on, as I usually serve olives as well. Many thanks!