…is for sharing!
Gentle Readers, do you have a spouse who is an IG Junkie? Steve must send me at least 4 “reels” a day… and most of them are about food… specifically IG Recipes.
Some weeks ago he sent me a recipe for baked feta, and I was so curious as to why he would send it to me… a main ingredient was fresh cherry tomatoes (which he hates!) Now I don’t know about the flavor of cherry tomatoes in February in your area, but in my neck of the woods… they are flavorless things. But I thought the idea of the recipe had some merit, if I could somehow figure out a tomato work around.
Enter a group I am in on Facebook… I know… but while FB by itself has no redeeming qualities, that is not necessarily true of some of the FB Groups! LOL… Anyways, in the Milk Street Community Group someone shared that Mutti Ciliegini Tomatoes were crazy delicious straight from the can. And so I began my search… no grocers near me stock these babies, but Amazon does but they seemed pricey to me. So began The Great Mutti Tomato Price Watch… and when the price fell to what I felt was reasonable, I nabbed a case of them!
And… Oh.My.Gosh. Really, it is summer perfectly preserved in a can. Cherry tomato flavor bombs picked at the peak of ripeness and snuggled in a silky, rich sauce. Now I had everything I needed to make the Baked Feta… and so I did. It is super easy… and I am so happy to share my tweaks that pushed this utterly simple dish to perfection.
I present my take on…
Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Chickpeas:
- 1 can of Mutti Ciliegini Tomatoes
- 1 can of TJ’s Greek Chickpeas, drained but not rinsed (you can do this with a can of regular chickpeas, but you absolute need to drain and rinse the chickpeas and then get those skins off… I rub them between a couple of layers of paper towels, but golly is this tremendously fiddly and time consuming. Thankfully, Steve found the Chickpeas at TJs! They are so good and no zero fiddly-ness)
- 8 ounces of Sheep’s milk feta in brine (the best I have found to date is Trader Joe’s Israeli Feta… it is the least salty and bakes beautifully)
- One (or two?) baguette, sliced and toasted… or Pita Chips… whatever your preference!
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
While the oven is pre-heating, drain and gently pat dry your feta. (If you are using the block of Feta from TJ’s, I recommend cutting it in half.) Place the feta in a baking dish and pour around it the canned tomatoes, including every bit of the sauce, and the drained chickpeas. If you are using regular chickpeas, drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over the entire dish. Sprinkle some freshly ground pepper over the feta and bake in the oven for 25 minutes (or until the tomatoes are beginning to pop open and the sauce is bubbling)
Then turn the broiler on high and broil for 5-8 minutes until the cheese begins to brown a bit and the tomatoes start to blister.
Remove from the oven and serve with a crusty bread or pita chips. I baked this Olive Bread this weekend and served it with that… delish!
This is my new favorite for Friday Happy Hour… it is so good! Don’t like chickpeas? I have tried it with olives (Kalamata and Sicilian Olives are both excellent choices) and it is amazing. I even think canned artichoke hearts would be a great addition!
Oh…and if you should happen to have any leftovers… never fear! It reheats beautifully… or even better, toss everything in the food processor and puree it. Yes, any leftover feta, chickpeas, and tomatoes/sauce… oh my gosh. So Good! We had this last night with the rest of that Olive Bread but it would be great with fresh veggies… carrots, peppers, cucumbers, etc.
And there you have my take on a truly delicious Baked Feta!
Happy Monday everyone!