I love cheese. That's a pretty established fact. But what I love even more is when I'm served cheese in an unexpected way, and that's what I'm doing today. Step forward, roasted feta, you glorious thing.
I've cooked with feta before, in pasta sauces and the like - I even tried melting it on toast when I was an eleven year old with a dairy allergy. That experience taught me that feta is not a very melty cheese, so I don't know why I never realised you could pop it in the oven. But now I know, and I'm a bit addicted. It browns and crisps on the outside and goes all wibbly inside - it's wonderful.
The process of cooking feta is from Anna Jones's wonderful book, A Modern Way To Eat - I'm obsessed with it. It's all vegetarian recipes, and I want to eat ALL of it. I've already eaten a lot of it, to be honest, and it's been difficult not to just reproduce the whole thing on here. So this is a taster for you, but do go and buy the book - you won't regret it, even if you're not a veggie. Everything I've cooked from it so far has been AMAZING.
Roasted feta with sweet potato, guacamole and tomato salad
200g feta cheese
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 lemon, washed
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Sweet potato & guacamole
2 sweet potatoes
1 clove garlic
1 red chilli, deseeded
Salt and pepper
Big handful of tomatoes - 10 or so cherry, 4 large ones
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Serves 2 / 21 WW Points (not a very low one, I'm afraid)
1. Pierce the skin of the sweet potatoes and pop it in the oven for 40 minutes at about 200 c / gas mark 6
2. While it's cooking, toast the coriander seeds over medium heat until fragrant and starting to pop.
3. Remove from skillet and crush in a mortar and pestle.
4. Place the feta - whole, not chopped up - on a parchment lined baking sheet. Grate the zest of half the lemon over it, sprinkle with the coriander seeds and a grating of black pepper. Drizzle with the tbsp of olive oil.
5. Pop in the oven along with your potatoes for about 20 minutes, until the feta is turning golden and crispy outside and soft and wobbly inside.
6. While the feta is cooking, prepare your guac by scooping the flesh out of the avocado into a bowl. Crush a clove of garlic over and finely slice your chilli. Throw that in, too. Add some salt and pepper and mash together with a fork until it forms a thick paste.
7. Chop the tomatoes and place in a large serving bowl along with the red onion. Add a liberal sprinkle of salt and pepper, then tear or chop your basil into it too. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and mix. Leave to sit for about 10 minutes or so to let the flavours mingle.
8. When the feta and sweet potatoes are done, remove from the oven and arrange on a plate, cutting open the potatoes and topping with the guac, then with the feta. Serve the tomatoes on the side along with a green salad.
9. And eat!
This is just a serving suggestion - I've also made the feta with just tomatoes and stand 'n' stuff tacos (leftovers from this meal, you caught me) which were wonderful:
If you're doing Weight Watchers, it's quite high pointed. However, you can cut the points down by having a little less feta, or swapping the guacamole and sweet potato for a wrap or pitta. Sadly, the olive oil is a necessity, but could always be cut down a little too. It's worth it though - the tomatoes are so sweet served like this, and the salty feta goes perfectly. One of my favourite dinners right now.