Here’s a simple, throw together appetizer that even the non-cook can master. It’s perfect for an impromptu happy hour because it’s easy to keep the ingredients on hand, but would also be a perfect addition to any Super Bowl spread because of its cheesy goodness.
This Baked Feta with Cherry Tomatoes is hardly a “recipe” and more a conglomerate of several different versions I’ve stumbled upon from a wide range of sources. There’s no measuring necessary, just use the ingredients liberally, thinking “the more, the merrier” along the way. The feta won’t exactly melt in the oven, it will only soften and mellow which I think suits feta well–the brininess is subdued by the oven’s heat. Serve straight from the oven with some pita chips or a sliced baguette. You’ll want to have a spoon handy for scooping up the warm cheese and roasted tomatoes. If the cheese happens to sit out for a bit without being gobbled up (unlikely, but possible), just rewarm in the oven.
As one recipe suggested, the day after serving this to a crowd that was not focused on appetizers, I took the leftover feta and tomatoes and melted it into some cooked orrechiette pasta (with the addition of about 1/4 cup of the pasta water) to make a delicious pasta dish. Before trying this, I had crumbled feta into my pasta but never melted it into a sauce. Rest assured that the first time will certainly not be the last. The Baked Feta with Cherry Tomatoes evolved into an easy weeknight dinner. Enjoy!
- 1 block feta cheese
- 1 pint assorted cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
- dried oregano
- fresh basil, julienned
- good olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- drained capers, optional
- chopped, pitted Kalamata olives, optional
- pita chips or sliced baguette, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Place block of feta in an ovenproof dish that is only slightly larger than the cheese itself.
- Cover cheese with halved tomatoes.
- Sprinkle with a pinch or two of dried oregano and fresh basil.
- Drizzle with olive oil and freshly ground pepper.
- If desired, add a teaspoon of drained capers or about a tablespoon of chopped Kalamata olives.
- Put dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes look nicely softened.
- Serve immediately with pita chips or a sliced baguette.
- The dish can be rewarmed in the oven if the feta firms up.
- Leftover cheese and tomatoes is delicious folded into warm pasta, with the addition of a little pasta cooking water to create a sauce.