Here’s another recipe inspired by our recent trip to Greece (which seems so long ago, now). Contrary to our last recipe that we claimed as an authentic Greek rendition, this one is simply a riff on a dish we enjoyed.
We came to love a certain baked feta appetizer, prepared in different ways but always delicious: melty, gooey feta in a tomato sauce, sometimes with onions or red peppers, sprinkled with a few herbs. One server brought it out to us and declared, “Feta in the oven!” We loved this way to describe it, learning only afterwards that this was the accepted English translation on most menus. So, feta in the oven it was! Alex even recreated it a few times while in Greece in the kitchen of our rental home.
While in Greece, we baked the feta with fresh, standard tomatoes and it turned out beautifully. Of course when we came home to the US, we somehow could not quite replicate it, always ending up with a watery mess! Switching to cherry tomatoes solved our water problem and also tasted quite delicious, so we’ve used that method here. However, neither are the preparation that we had in restaurants, which was more tomato-saucy and gooey: if anyone has any recommendations for a recipe of this type, let us know!
In any case, this is a vibrant, fresh appetizer that’s easy to prepare and slide in the oven for some dinner guests, or on a Friday evening in with a glass of wine. It’s also a good recipe for “winging it”; the concept is very simple, and the quantities below can be used as guidelines. As we’ve noted, the portion is a modest appetizer for four, but it’s quite easy to double it for a more substantial portion, so keep that in mind when you’re planning the ingredients.
Have you tried baked feta? What’s your favorite variation? We’d love to know.
- 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 4-5 ounce block of feta cheese
- 10 Kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- Kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Slice 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes in half, and add a few pinches kosher salt. Finely mince 1 clove garlic. Chop 2 tablespoons fresh parsley.
- Place the feta in a small oven-proof dish. Top with tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and 10 Kalamata olives. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon oregano.
- Bake for 18 minutes, until soft. Serve immediately with crackers, pita, or bread.