This meze recipe by Maria Elia is the perfect accompaniment to a drinks party.
For the feta::
Preheat the oven to 190c
Cut a large piece of foil and put in on a baking tray, place the tomatoes on the foil and the feta on top of them, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the chilli flakes
Put another piece of foil on top and seal the edges to make a parcel. Place in the oven for about 8 minutes, if the feta comes from the fridge you will need to double the cooking time, remove and open the parcels, sprinkle over the mint leaves just before serving
For the tabbouleh::
Using a very sharp knife slice the parsley as thinly as possible, starting with the leaves and going down to the stalks, repeat with the mint leaves
Combine the tomatoes, lentils, onions, herbs and spices and season with salt. Dress with lemon juice and olive oil and stir in the feta just before serving
• Look for Greek feta cheese wrapped in Cryo-vac containers. These should contain some of the brine the cheese was made with. Tightly-wrapped feta cheese resting on a plastic or foam platter does not contain brine, which adds flavor and moisture.
• Read the label for country of origin. Select Greek feta cheese imported from Greece, rather than from France or Bulgaria. Greek feta makers produce the cheese with ingredients from different regions and offer a greater variety of textures and tastes.
• Check the ingredients list on the label. Make sure it contains at least some goat's milk or sheep's milk, as opposed to purely cow's milk. Goat's milk or sheep's milk give Greek feta cheese its distinctive taste.
• Examine the packaging of the Greek feta cheese. The cheese should look moist and very white in color, rather than a dried-out brick or loose mass of yellowish crumbs.
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