This could just as easily be an appetizer as a side dish ….tonight it was a side dish for our roasted chicken and it was delicious! Super quick and easy, along with ingredients I love and that made it a total win.
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup chopped, pitted Kalmata olives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 8- to 10-ounce block feta
Crackers, flatbread*, pita chips, or crostini, for dipping
In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, oregano, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper.
Feel free to substitute the feta with haloumi, or goat cheese, either would be great.
On a grill: Heat your grill to medium-high. Set the feta block in the middle of a piece of foil. Pile the tomato mixture on top of the feta. Fold up the edges of the foil so that it will hold in any liquid as it cooks. Place the packet straight on a grill for 15 minutes to warm it through. Remove from grill and transfer to plate or serving dish.
In the oven: Heat oven to 400°F. Check to see that your dish is oven-proof. Place the block of feta in the middle of your dish. Pile the tomato mixture on top of the feta. Bake for 15 minutes.
Both methods: The feta will not melt, just warm and soften. Garnish with parsley and serve with crackers; eat immediately. As it cools, the feta will firm up again.
I’m guilty of poaching this recipe right off the Smitten Kitchen website, and if you haven’t visited that site, hop on over. Deb Perelman has fantastic recipes, but even just her writing style is worth a read.
*Flatbread. also from http://www.smittenkitchen.com
- 1 3/4 cups (230 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil plus more for brushing
- Flaky sea salt such as Maldon
Heat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with olive oil.
Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a large, wide bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Use your hands to gently knead dough inside the bowl 4 or 5 times, until it comes together in a semi-smooth ball.
Divide dough into 3 large or 6 smaller pieces and roll out one piece at a time on an unfloured counter, to about 10-inch (for larger pieces of dough) or 7-inch rounds (smaller pieces) — shape can be rustic; dough should be thin. Lift flatbread onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. I can sometimes squeeze 6 small flatbreads on a half-sheet pan; sometimes I need to bake 1 to 2 in a second batch.
Lightly brush tops with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top (if using), pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating flatbreads if needed on the pan for even color. Let cool then break into pieces.
I cut mine into triangles before baking, and they came out perfectly. Read the full Smitten Kitchen recipe for more ideas, you will be happy you did.