Last summer I spent a few months living and working in Crete and I fell in love with this dish. Blending creamy and warm feta with rich and ripe tomatoes this dish was always a good choice in any restaurant, especially for a coeliac like me. When I came home I missed the food as much as I missed the weather. So I have been making this dish on repeat to bring some warmth and comfort to the cold and dark UK winter. Scroll down for the recipe and enjoy the taste of Crete wherever you are.
1 200g feta block
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 red pepper
10-15 cherry/plum tomatoes
Several sprigs of thyme
1 tsp oregano (fresh/dried)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Dice the pepper and chop the tomatoes in half. Fry in olive oil for 10 minutes on a medium heat and then add half the herbs and fry till brown and coloured
While the veg is frying add the tomato paste and tinned tomatoes to a saucepan on a high heat with the garlic powder and sugar and some salt and boil vigorously until very concentrated. It should almost halve in volume. Reducing the tomatoes takes anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes depending on your patience! The longer the better though!
Mix together the fried veg and concentrated tomato mix and spread into a baking dish.
Place the feta block on top of the tomato mix and press down so half the block is submerged. Then scatter the remaining herbs over the top and add a drizzle of olive oil.
You can either put the dish in the oven or under the grill. Oven: Put in the oven at 200°C near the top, and leave till the top of the feta is coloured and the edges are beginning to blacken. This usually takes around 30 minutes, but keep an eye on it in case it catches. Grill: Place under a 200°C and watch keenly for about 10 minutes till charred.
Serve with fresh bread and a side salad dressed with a wine vinegar dressing
Note: If you know somewhere to get proper Greek feta it will be so much better but I have to admit I usually use the supermarket stuff
Note: To speed up the cooking you could do 10 minutes baking and 5-10 minutes under the grill