Ah yes, here we are: the part of winter where we’re sick to death of the cozy braises and hearty stews. No tubers, please; for goodness’ sake, no more root vegetables. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m also kind of over baking? The residual heat from the oven is nice, sure, but every batch of cookies, every loaf of bread, every banana this or pumpkin that just reminds me that spring isn’t here yet and I’m tired of all my sweaters.
Team, what do we do in times like this? That’s right: DENIAL. Give me the good colors! The green and the pink! Dress my plate with lemon and olive oil and give me snacky dinners on pretend patios! Bring me soft herbs, citrus, and nothing that takes more than 20 minutes to slap together! Comfort me with light suppers and obsessively hitting refresh on the 7-day weather report.
Continuing what’s shaping up as this blog’s proud new tradition of Putting Stuff on a Hunk of Cheese and Calling It a Meal (see Smashed Burrata from fall 2018), I giddily present to you this roasted feta number. When the weather gets nicer, you can of course procure some or all of the ingredients from the farmer’s market, but what I love about stuff like this is that the supermarket serves you just as well in the cloudy, wind-chilled meantime.
Big thanks to the immensely talented Megan Von Schonhoff, who styled these photos and has taught/is teaching me so very much about styling and photography!
This is not meant to be a fussy dish in any way except maybe one: do find traditional Greek feta for this (sheep’s milk, or a sheep/goat milk combo). The texture is creamier and softer than cow’s milk feta and makes an enormous difference in the final taste and texture. When I tested this with cow’s milk feta, there was really no comparison and I wouldn’t recommend it.
Sure, sure, the pomegranate seeds are real pretty but they do real work. Do not sleep on these, folks. The sweet tang of pomegranate is a beautiful foil to the soft saltiness of the feta.
The radishes are optional! I like the crunch and they bulk up the cool component of the herbs & lemon, but if you’ve got the pomegranate you’ll still get that crunchy, bright hit.
SAFETY NOTE: please make 1000% sure that your roasting dish is broiler-safe and can withstand a bit of fire. The thin layer of honey painted on top of the feta will — and should — burn in spots and occasionally flare in the oven. I have a Staub stoneware dish and it’s performed admirably all the times I’ve made this. A small metal roasting dish would be fine too, just add a few drops of oil to the bottom before adding the feta so it doesn’t stick.
Roasted Feta with Pomegranate + Herbs
Serves 4 as a starter or side
1 8-ounce block of Greek feta (either 100% sheep’s milk, or a combination of sheep and goat’s milk)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup chopped parsley, dill, and mint (any proportion is fine), plus more if you’re feelin’ it
Juice of half a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
3 medium radishes, sliced thin, any variety — I used red and watermelon radishes here (optional)
Pita wedges or hunks of crusty bread, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Place the feta in a broiler-safe roasting dish and pour the olive oil on top. Roast for 10 minutes, or until the cheese has softened and almost collapsed a little bit, but hasn’t melted.
Remove the cheese from the oven and turn on the broiler. With a brush or spoon, spread the honey in an even layer on the hot cheese. The heat will soften the honey immediately, so it should be easily spread.
Place the roasting dish directly under the broiler and broil until the feta is brown and bubbly in places, about 5 minutes. Do not walk away during this step! Watch the cheese constantly as small flares can happen.
Remove the feta from the oven and set it aside to cool briefly. In a small bowl, combine the herbs, a squeeze of lemon, a splash of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Place the dressed herbs next to the feta in the dish. Drizzle more olive oil over everything, and sprinkle with salt and pepper and the last squeezes of lemon. Scatter the pomegranate seeds onto the feta and herbs, and garnish with the radishes, if using.
Smear on pita or bread. This is incredible on its own as a light-ish lunch but makes an equally nice centerpiece to a quasi-mediterranean mezze-for-dinner situation, too.
- baked goods
- beans + legumes
- dinner party
- freezer friendly
- gluten free
- make ahead
- pregnant food
- roasted stuff
- special occasions
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