A Mediterranean Take on Baked Cheese

baked-fetaEver since I had baked Feta at a lovely out-of-the-way restaurant in Panamá, I’ve been wanting to make it myself.  The idea is just so simple!  I’d had baked Camembert plenty of times in Germany – when I lived there, baked Camembert with rote Grütze was one of my favorite dishes, right up there with Döner-Kebabs and Currywurst – but I’d never thought to bake Feta.  Brie, yes; Raclette, yes.  Fried Kasseri and Halloumi?  You bet.  But baked Feta was a new one for me.

Seeing as Feta is one of my favorite cheeses, baked Feta turns out to be one of my favorite baked dishes!  Adding a sprig of rosemary and a few shavings of lemon zest highlights the savoriness of the cheese and gives the dish a decidedly Mediterranean flavor.

Baked Feta with Lemon & Rosemary

Sheep’s-milk Feta
Zest grated from an organic lemon (seeing as you’re eating the peel, organic is worth it; besides, organic lemons are more juicy and thin-skinned, so you’ll have plenty of leftover juice to use in salad dressings, marinades, desserts, as fresh lemonade, whatever you’d like)
Sprig of fresh or dried rosemary
Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
Mixed lettuce

You can use a toaster oven or a standard oven for this one. I chose a toaster oven since it’s faster and you don’t need an entire baking sheet to hold the Feta.

Place uncut Feta on an aluminum- or parchment-covered baking tray. Top with lemon zest and a sprig of rosemary, then drizzle with just a hint of oil. (The oil is especially important if you’re using dried rosemary – it will prevent the rosemary from being scorched.) Bake at 250 for about 7 minutes in a toaster oven or at 350 for 10 minutes in a standard oven. The goal is to have the Feta just begin to soften and to start turning a light golden brown. While you’re waiting, place lettuce on a large serving plate or several individual smaller plates.

Remove Feta from oven and carefully transfer to waiting lettuce bed(s). Drizzle lettuce with a little bit of oil and lemon juice if desired.

Enjoy!

Courtesy of Cultured Cook.

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© Copyright 2011  Allison Stuart Kaplan  www.Askinyourface.com LLC

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Comments

  1. Sounds heavenly! I adore Feta cheese, but I have only had it in Greek food–spanokopita. This sounds delicious and easy enough to make.

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