Baked Feta with Olives

I’m always on the lookout for an alternative to the ubiquitous platter of cheese and crackers with a bowl of olives when guests come over for dinner. Sure, we can make it look interesting, pretty up the platter, buy different cheeses, pop the olives in a vintage bowl, but at the end of the day, it’s still just cheese and crackers.

This dish, however, ticks all the boxes. It looks the part, tastes the part, and is quick to put together. It might be cheese with a bowl of olives, but it’s a very different cheese and olives.

I’d like to tell you where I first saw it so I can give due credit – even though I know most ideas come from someone else’s idea which has come from someone else’s. I think I probably first saw it on an Instagram reel but, unusually for me, didn’t save the image, but rather jotted down quickly the broad instructions. Anyways, as a riff on last year’s Tik Tok baked feta sensation, this too has baked feta as the star of the show, although this feta isn’t smashed up and stirred through pasta, it’s spread onto slices of baguette and is delicious. 

You’ll need an oven-proof dish for this one, but after that feel free to, well, free-style a tad – especially when it comes to the feta and olives. When I made it for the first time, I bought a block of feta that had been marinated in lemon and bay leaf, so adjusted my flavourings accordingly. Also, while olives with the pits still in them somehow have more flavour, you need to deal with the pips somehow – and, of course, warn your guests about them. So we use pitted mixed olives – whatever is in the deli section of the supermarket and looks good.

Okay, that said, here’s the recipe – or an approximation of a recipe at least.

First up, preheat your oven to 180C.

Lay a block of feta (if you want quantities, say 200g or so) in the centre of the oven-proof dish and pour over a good glug of extra virgin olive oil. And when I say a good glug, don’t be miserly with it – you’re going to want enough in the base to soak up with baguette so make it about ¼ cup.

Scatter over a few strips of lemon peel and about a tablespoon or so of lemon juice. Tip in the olives and distribute them around the feta. How many olives? About a cup, or thereabouts.

Now it’s time for some herbs. Rosemary, thyme, marjoram, oregano – any of these would work. We use rosemary – the leaves from a couple of sprigs – and scatter them over the feta. Finish with some diced red chilli (discard the pith and the seeds) – or some dried chilli flakes – and pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes. 

When ready, serve by smearing the cheese onto crusty bread. Soooo good.

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

5 thoughts

  1. Yum – sounds and looks delicious! My husband’s not a big fan of feta so I might give this a go with Brie instead. Thanks for sharing

    Like

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