We are gloriously exhausted! Preparations for Christmas are intense…but coming along. Our homes may be a bit of a mess, with shopping bags and wrapping paper everywhere, but they smell pretty fantastic because our kitchens have been baking warehouses these past few weeks. Life is good, and delicious.
Although it is easy to get a little overwhelmed this time of year, it is also really important to remember what actually matters; God, love, peace, family, friends, and of course, food. Our homes today, just like our home growing up, are revolving doors of company, especially during the holidays. Some guests are expected, and others do the “pop-in”. If you hold yourself to unachievable standards, then the latter can be particularly stressful. We’re here to tell you…relax, and don’t worry if you are still in your pyjamas at 1 pm, or if the breakfast dishes aren’t done by lunch, or if your cat is sleeping in the Christmas tree. Your family and friends are there to visit you, not to inspect your home! Besides, you have bigger things to worry about. Your visitors may not be judgemental, but they probably are hungry; they’ve worked up an appetite trying to achieve their own unachievable standards. That’s when a recipe such as this baked feta, makes you a superstar (but again…it’s not about that!) 🙂
This baked feta will be as delicious as the feta that you use. Greek feta is, by far, superior to any other feta you will find. It is likely also more expensive, but well worth the extra cost. Greek feta is typically made of either sheep or goat milk, giving it a creamy, tangy flavour that you just can’t find in feta made with cow’s milk.
It may be hard to find the pitted Kalamata olives called for in this recipe. If so, simply buy them with the pit and remove it yourself. It is quite easy to do by pressing down on the olive with the blade of a chef’s knife. This will break apart the olive, and you can then pry out the pit. Whatever you do, please don’t buy those pitted black olives that come in a can. We don’t think those are actually olives, or even food. They taste like plastic, and are gross.
This is a very messy dish. The feta will become soft, but will not melt as it often does when you heat it on the grill. The easiest way to serve this dish is to bring the baking dish to the table and to use a large spoon to serve yourself the portion you would like.
Although this baked feta is amazing served with some bread or crackers, it also makes a great accompaniment to meats and poultry. Serve it as you would a condiment, to be eaten alongside the rest of your meal.
If you are going to be enjoying this baked feta with several people, or if it going to be served as lunch (invite us!), then simply double or triple or quadruple the recipe. Nothing can be more forgiving. Our parents have made this for a large group of people by baking it in a pastitsio baking pan. Served with some crusty bread and a salad, this is hosting perfection.
Mia Kouppa: Baked Feta
- Greek feta, cut into a square about 1/2 inch thick and 3 1/2 inches on each side
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) pitted and finely chopped Kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) diced red onion
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) capers
- 1 1/2 tablespoon (22 ml) olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon (6 ml) balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (4 ml) dried oregano
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Use some of your olive oil to grease the bottom of your baking dish.
- Place your feta in the baking dish.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
- Pour mixture over the feta.
- Bake, uncovered, for approximately 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately. Enjoy!