Summer in the midwest is unpredictable at best.This summer has been pretty decent so far…….and then….holy crap its hot!!!!!!! When it’s hot, the last thing I want is to heat up the kitchen, or eat anything hot….ugh! Asparagus Farro Feta Salad is a cool delicious salad…. when its too hot to cook.
Tim and I had to give up our beloved asparagus patch when we moved, but we still enjoy asparagus as much as ever. With summer heat ramping up I really don’t feel like cooking….I barely feel like eating, although I do manage…LOL
Let’s have a feta lesson…….. According to Good Housekeeping: Feta, a classic Greek cheese traditionally made from sheep’s or goat’s milk, is now available in a milder, less bitter version made from cow’s milk. But whether you choose a creamy Bulgarian feta or a firmer Greek or American one, the zesty cheese is more than a wonderful addition to vegetable and fruit salads. You can use it in just about any recipe that calls for cheese. Add it to cooked rice or tomato-based pastas; use it as a topping for baked potatoes or as a filling for omelets; crumble it over tomato sandwiches; or simply serve it as a table cheese along with olives, bread, grilled vegetables, and salami.
Feta that is sold crumbled should be stored in an airtight container and used within a few days. When it’s sold in chunks in vacuum-sealed plastic packages, it should be stored wrapped in plastic or in airtight containers and used within 1 to 2 weeks. Feta that comes immersed in a brine solution of water and salt should be stored in its brine and used within 1 to 2 weeks after opening.
I enjoy the tangy saltiness of feta. I have used it in a variety of different dishes, even pizza. But I wanted to make dip.I didn’t want a mayo or olive oil laden dip, just the cheese please.
Feta pairs very well with red peppers, and I happen to love roasted red peppers. I buy them already roasted. I, as you who follow my blog know, can have a lazy streak…..especially when you can buy a quality product, and someone else has done the work! Cause let’s be real, roasting red peppers is a big fat mess.
I did get a little fancy making a broth for the cheese to bake in…….I can be fancy sometimes. But the broth is a vegetable broth and there is no shame in just buying it. And truth be told, the only reason I made it was I had some veggies that needed to be used.
Mirepoix is the fancy French culinary term for a combination of diced carrots, onions and celery sautéed in butter and used as an aromatic base to flavor sauces, soups and stews. Even a small amount can significantly contribute to the overall flavor of a finished dish.
I used olive oil instead but you get the idea. I added some water and oregano, and some lemon zest. Simmered to make a veggie broth.
I used a cast iron skillet, but any oven proof skillet will do. I just liked the contrast of the white feta and the black skillet. The feta block went into the skillet and I poured just enough of the broth around to cover the bottom of the pan. Top the cheese with the roasted red peppers and baked in a 400* oven for about 10 minutes. Garnished with green onions and serve with pita chips.
I really like the look and taste of the Baked Feta. Pretty enough for a party and rustic enough for just hanging around on a Sunday snack day. Best thing…. this can be reheated in the same skillet, so reserve that broth for a repeat Baked Feta.
1 red bell pepper, roasted, diced (I used a jarred roasted red pepper)
1-1/2 block of feta
2 tablespoons green onion, thinly sliced
Pita chips to serve
Place oregano, celery, carrots, onions, lemon zest, salt to taste, and 3 cups water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into measuring cup, discarding solids. Keep broth warm.
For the baked feta: Preheat the oven to 400°.
Place the feta in a small ovenproof nonstick skillet( I used a cast iron skillet) and top with roasted red peppers. Pour just enough of reserved broth around the feta to cover the bottom of the skillet. Bake until softened, 8–10 minutes.
Garnish with green onions and serve with pita chips.