Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Olives

I saw this recipe posted a few weeks ago on my favorite blog Smitten Kitchen.  I’ve already posted my brother-in-law’s Baked Feta recipe and have made that a ton…so easy and so yummy. This has all the goodness of his, with the melty feta, oregano and olive oil, but just “kicked up a notch”, with the addition of tomatoes, olives and red onion.  (And, btw, do not tell Sam I used that expression in a reference to his food!)

Anyway, I love Sam’s version so much, I knew I wanted to try this.  So made it for an appetizer last night and it was a hit.  It was devoured.  I laughed when I re-read SK’s last sentence below, “as it cools, the feta will firm up again. We found that the dish could be returned to the oven to soften it again. We did this with leftovers, too” because it was gobbled up so quickly it never had a chance to cool and there was not a smidgen left over!

Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Olives

INGREDIENTS
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup chopped, pitted Kalmata olives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup thinly sliced 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

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, mix the tomatoes, olives, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, oregano, olive oil and a few grinds of pepper.

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.

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. We found that the dish could be returned to the oven to soften it again. We did this with leftovers, too.

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STCG’s Baked Feta

I  give full credit for this one to my brother-in-law Sam (aka, “Sam the Cooking Guy“).  Sam & I married into the same family (I’m married to Tony; Sam is married to Tony’s sister Kelly) and we, along with our other two brothers-in-law call ourselves “the Outlaws” (because, well, just because that’s what happens when you marry into this family…LOL).

Long before he was STCG, Sam and I shared a love of cooking (and meatloaf).  And early on in his career, he’d actually call me for recipe ideas.  Not so much any more.  He doesn’t need my suggestions…he has his own show (with a bookshelf full of Emmy’s he’s won), three cookbooks and now, a Livecast.  AND, if that’s not enough, he still finds time to generously donate his time, talent and celebrity to great community causes (in fact, I owe him HUGE thanks because he spent two evenings this past weekend cooking for people who “bought him” at an auction that benefited the nonprofit I work for!!!)

I gotta hand it to Sam.  He is one of those rare people who took his passion and dream and worked very hard to turn it into a reality.  And, yes, he is exactly like he is on t.v.!

STCG’s Baked Feta

INGREDIENTS

1 (8 ounce) block feta cheese

1 big (or 2 small) cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Preheat to oven 350

Place feta in an ovenproof baking dish

Top with crushed garlic, oregano and red pepper – drizzle liberally with olive oil

Bake uncovered until the feta is soft, 15-20 minutes

Remove carefully and serve with something crunchy (like pita crisps, crackers or toasted baguette slices)