One of the first things I did in the garden last year, when we were still waiting for the hard landscaping to be finished, was to put some large, colourful planters into the front garden. To begin with they were planted with sweet peppers (actually cool chillies), but in the autumn I replanted them with their permanent contents, and they have become my container herb garden. Although they’re at the front of the house they are one of the easiest place to get to from the kitchen for a quick snip, and the paving means I can get there in my slippers…. This means I can, and do, just pop out to get a handful of fresh herbs, and we are starting to add more of them to our cooking.
Yesterday we decided to try a new recipe – baked feta – for lunch. Right as we decided that, the heavens opened – so I got a little wet collecting a bunch of homegrown herbs! My initial idea was that I would just use rosemary, but I added in chives and sage before I came back inside to escape the downpour.
I roughly chopped them (removing the woody stems from the rosemary), put some in the bottom of the baking dish for the cheese to sit on, and then sprinkled the rest over the top.
We used traditional feta, which is made without any cow’s milk, but the recipe would be the same whichever brand of feta you choose. It’s a cheese I love in Greek spanakopita (spinach and feta pie filo pastry pie) and Lebanese sanbousek pastries, but otherwise not something we regularly have in the house.
After 20 mins in a medium oven, baked feta starts to go brown around the edges. It doesn’t melt, exactly, but develops a more jelly-like texture.
It was easy to cut it half and lift the slices out onto plates. We served our baked feta with freshly baked rolls (part-baked, not homemade), and declared it absolutely disgusting – an ongoing joke in our house where one of us declares newly-found delicious things revolting in the hope that the other will concur and hand over their portion to be ‘disposed of’ 😉
I ate my baked herbs. Ryan didn’t. We both declared it something we would happily eat again, and it’s certainly a low effort way to liven up a weekend lunch.
Are you a feta fan? How do you eat yours?
This blog post was written by Emma Cooper and was published on The Unconventional Gardener website. If you're reading it elsewhere you may want to navigate away from plagiarised content.