Thursday, 25 October 2007

Warm sweet-savoury feta cheese

An impressive appetizer that's ready in 5 minutes.
OK, so you'll be washing the dishes afterwards, but that like...doesn't count. Let someone else do that.

It's a dish inspired by Cretan cuisine, both salty and sweet and can confuse your taste buds to the point where they stop analyzing and just start enjoying. As the flavour is quite intensive, I wouldn't serve as big portions as the original recipe suggests. I cut them in two - this wasn't all I was eating, OK? This is actually called an appetizer, not a Huge Main Dish. The aniseed's flavour - that's not less intensive. So if you're not too fond of it, add just a teeeny bit or skip and be proud of it.

Grilled feta with honey and aniseed
(Epicurious, serves 4-8)

400 g feta cheese, cut into pieces
4 tsp olive oil
3 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp whole aniseed
ground/crushed black pepper

  1. Preheat your oven's grill element
  2. Divide feta between 4-8 small baking dishes and brush or drizzle with oil
  3. Grill about 3 minutes, the cheese should turn golden (Mine didn't, but tasted good anyway)
  4. Meanwhile, combine honey and aniseed in a saucepan and heat until hot or do the same thing in a small bowl with the help of a microwave oven.
  5. Drizzle 1/2 - 1 tsp honey mixture (according to the size of the serving) onto every portion and sprinkle with ground/crushed black pepper.

The feta, salty as ever, doesn't get any milder in my opinion, but rather gets this strangely addictive extra nuance of good gooey sweetness. I like how the texture changes in the grilling process and the cheese is a bit grainy afterwards. If the dish is almost empty, there are still tiny pieces of feta that have been soaking in honey and have the richest taste. Aniseed, though voluntary for all the (silly) picky eaters, gives the cheese a very different flavour and is a must if you want to impress someone. Including yourself.

If served warm, I'd recommend serving the feta with crisp bread. I also imagine it over some green salad with just a drizzle of olive oil for the summer. When the dish has cooled, the cheese becomes firmer, but the good flavour remains. I Enjoyed the leftovers with some juicy oven-baked salmon this evening - a good combination.
Thank God I'm not a picky eater:)


Kate said...

i love feta cheese. Due to the salty , when combined with anything sweet , its tastes heavenly. I like your recipe. It simple and gr8 flavours with the aniseed n honey.

Chubbypanda said...

Marinated cheese? Helloooo nurse! Love it.

Evelin said...

Kate, I wish I had known this before! I was impressed when I first saw that the recipe called for honey, but so impressed that I decided to try it out the same day:)

Chubbypanda, don't go calling that nurse just yet! Honey is good for you - this IS a healthy dish:D