We kept running across Vicky Bhogal's inviting new cookbook, FLAVOUR: A World of Beautiful Food, during our recent trip to the UK and were anxious to try some of her simple-to-prepare yet sumptuous-looking recipes. First up: Foil-Baked Feta, a quick and flavorful dish that we're definitely adding to our entertaining repertoire.
The recipe couldn't be any easier &ndash wrap a block of feta cheese in foil along with olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, fresh oregano (or basil, coriander, or mint), tomatoes, tomato purée, capers, and red onion, and bake for 10 minutes. The result is full-bodied flavor (and color!), with a satisfying combination of creaminess, acidity, warmth, and sweetness. It's perfect spooned over slices of fresh bread.
For the herbs, we used a mixture of good quality dried oregano and fresh mint leaves, which worked well. Although we initially questioned the necessity of the tomato purée, we realized it imparted an extra bit of sweetness, which balanced the other salty, savory, and spicy ingredients. Our only change would be to extend the baking time a little, giving the cheese and other ingredients the chance to become even more soft and bubbly. (Note: the recipe gives a temperature of 200C/gas 6, which is equivalent to 400F.)
• Get the recipe in the June 2009 issue of Olive magazine or at Vicky Bhogal's Web site
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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