Nov 22, 2009

Big Fat Greek Feta

Is it just me, or did the "holiday season" start a little early this year? Christmas carols are being piped through store stereos, it's impossible to park at the mall, and I actually passed an SUV with a big red bow stuck on it's hood... what happened to waiting until AFTER Turkey Day for all this nonsense?

First things first - Thanksgiving is this week and it deserves our full consideration. Yeah, December may bring all the presents, but the really good eating happens in November. 

So whether you're heading home to feast with family, across town to stuff yourself with friends or hosting the whole showdown at your place, start everybody off with this pretty baked feta appetizer.  It's full of greek flavors and takes just minutes to prepare - so you can appease the crowd with a snack and get back to business in the kitchen!

How to: Baked Greek Feta
Layer quarter-inch slices of good feta cheese in a shallow oven-proof serving dish, overlapping slices slightly. Scatter 8-10 chopped kalamata olives (pits removed) over the cheese and drizzle with olive oil and a little salt & black pepper. Place under the broiler until cheese is bubbling at the edges and starting to brown on top.  Remove from the oven - carefully! - and top with chopped fresh mint, lemon zest and red chili flakes. Serve hot with crusty bread or toasted pita.

NOTE: It's really important to use good feta cheese here - the commercially packaged feta from the grocery store is so tangy it'll be overpowering. I like to use the kind that comes in a container of water - it's usually imported from Greece. You may have to go to a farmers market or specialty market to find it.

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