Warmed Marinated Feta Cheese

warmed marinated feta cheeseCheese lovers take note…this dish is a cinch to make and unbelievably delicious! Marinating and then warming the feta cheese in olive oil topped with roasted tomatoes and herbs makes for a winning appetizer.  Serve this individually and let your friends dig in.  Their taste buds will be greeted by a touch of heat from the chili, sweetness from the tomatoes, citrus notes from the lemon, and the spreadable feta will calm any heat from the chili.  And presentation-wise, it’ll set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Serves 4
adapted from Cuisine

feta, cut into 4 chunks
4 small fresh bay leaves (you can also use marjoram or oregano)
4 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
zest of 1 lemon
black peppercorns
garlic cloves, finely sliced
red chili, finely sliced (optional)
slow-roasted tomatoes
extra-virgin olive oil

Place a chunk of the feta into 4 small ovenproof jars or ramekins. Add one of each of the herbs and divide the lemon zest, peppercorns (3 to 4 per jar), garlic and chili (2 to 3 slices per jar) among the jars. Place a few slow-roasted tomatoes in each jar (if using large tomatoes cut into small pieces) then cover with olive oil. Marinate for a few hours before using.  To serve, preheat the oven to 250f and heat the jars until warmed through, about 8 or so minutes.  Serve immediately with bread.

marinated feta by The Culinary ChaseThe Culinary Chase’s Note: WOW! This starter was amazing!  Have extra bread slices on hand to mop up the flavored olive oil.  You can keep this in the fridge for a few days but should be brought back to room temperature before heating. Enjoy!