When I was in Paxos I came across fried feta for the first time. I am usually quite boring when it comes to feta, simply adding it to salads or as a topping to some vegetables like in a Greek Briam. The only time I have really made proper use of feta cheese in a dish is in a Spanakopita, where in my opinion, it is more of a star ingredient than the spinach itself! I really liked the fried feta but it was the Saganaki cheese that I kept going back for ever since I had a delicious dish of Baked Saganaki with Honey. Saganaki is like a mix between feta and halloumi and I am a huge fan. I love how the Greek’s use cheese in their cuisine. As much as I will say that when it comes to cheese, yes the French really have nailed it, they still tend to leave their cheese alone. This is all well, I mean why would you mess around with such good quality cheese? But actually when it comes to Greek and Middle Eastern cuisine they make it that little bit more. It can become the prime ingredient to a dish and is actually a very good seasoning! By topping some roasted vegetables with some feta for example provides a delicious slightly salty taste to it. And only the Greek’s have successfully managed to combine both cheese and fish with their famous Prawn Saganaki!
Baked Feta is such a wonderful thing. One of my favourite meals is a type of Mezze and is what I mostly cook in the summer months. I love little dishes that incorporate only the best of ingredients. Food that is quick to put together and easy to eat on a warm evening and recipes that use a mix of fresh herbs and spices. I bake the feta so that it is just soft and not completely melted. It should have just a little wobble to it, that takes around eight minutes under a hot grill. I also like to add a few tomatoes to the dish so that the juices start to mix in little bit with the melting cheese. I recommend heating up a few pittas or some flatbread to serve so that you can soak up all the juices and scoop up that delicious feta. This dish is pure heaven and everything that I love about a good Mezze!
- 1 block good quality feta cheese
- 1 tbpsn runny honey
- 2 tbpsn greek olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- Few sprigs fresh thyme (leaves picked)
- 5 or 6 small cherry plum tomatoes (halved)
- 1 small red chilli (finely sliced)
- Salt/ pepper
- Pre-heat the grill to it's highest setting.
- Add the feta cheese to the middle of a roasting dish and lay the tomatoes around the edge.
- In a small mixing bowl add the honey, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix together until well combined and pour over the feta.
- Scatter the chillies and thyme over the feta and season the whole dish with a little salt and pepper. Give the tomatoes a little drizzle of olive oil and place under the grill for just 8 mins or until the feta is just soft with a little wobble. Serve immediately.