Sunday Snack day……Baked Feta please!!!
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.
- 2 sprigs fresh oregano
- 1 rib celery, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 small white onion, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 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.
- Serve immediately.