Arsip Tag: feta

date, feta and red cabbage salad – smitten kitchen

Sara Jenkins is famous for making the Italian roasted pork street food known as porchetta trendy in New York. She’s also known for her way with pasta (and has a new book out with her famed food writer mom celebrating it). She’s had turns at a handful of great Italian restaurants in New York, earning them stars and accolades and has written at length for The Atlantic about Italian food. And almost all I ever want to talk about here? Her salads.

what we'll use
very thinly sliced red cabbage

I can’t help it — they’re riveting, and while I will forever love roasted pork and pasta, in my life, nothing fills the inspiration deficit that accumulates from the daily repetition of cooking that real life requires like chefs that have a way with vegetables — ways we can take back home and eat food we’re more excited about. It began the first time we went to Porsena nearly 5 years ago, when I fell in love with a green bean salad busy with pickled onions, fried almonds, thinly sliced fennel and celery, which I’m of the opinion never gets enough praise. Crunchy and bright, I became obsessed and made it again and again at home. Last week, we were back for an early Sunday night dinner with our menagerie of mini-humans (fine, just two, but it feels like a lot!) and the giant shells with kale pesto were excellent, my son’s thousand-layer deeply broiled duck lasagna was otherworldly, my husband has nothing but good things to say about the linguine with clams, but the only thing I spent the next week babbling on about was the salad I had with dates, feta and radicchio.

bulgarian feta, our favorite

I also spent the next week telling myself it was too basic, too boring to warrant mention, which is kind of a shame when these simple ingredients that I already had in the kitchen are so spectacularly good together, the perfect balancing act of sweet and salty on crunchy salad. At the restaurant, they use an heirloom radicchio with tender pink leaves that is absolutely nothing like the bitter-as-lemon-peel heads we get at the store, so I replaced it with red cabbage, which is cheap, hearty and holds up well if you’re trying to plan ahead for that big holiday this month. Everything else was guesswork: I detected a lot of olive oil, a bit of lime juice and Aleppo pepper at the restaurant, but couldn’t resist adding two more things at home, very well toasted sesame seeds and a handful of parsley to finish. You could add even more stuff, I don’t think thinly shaved red onion, a splash of pomegranate molasses or even chickpeas would be unwelcome here, but the good news is that you don’t need them to make a really gorgeous November salad that I’m angling to put on the Thanksgiving table this year, and uh, in my belly at lunchtime today.

date, feta and red cabbage salad

One year ago: Pickled Cabbage Salad
Two years ago: Perfect Uncluttered Chicken Stock
Three years ago: Granola-Crusted Nuts
Four years ago: Baked Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings
Five years ago: Upside-Down Cranberry Cake
Six years ago: Raisin-Studded Apple Bread Pudding
Seven years ago: Cottage Cheese Pancakes, Cauliflower Salad with Green Olives and Capers and Onion Tart with Mustard and Fennel
Eight years ago: Roasted Stuffed Onions, Simplest Apple Tart and Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Nine years ago: Indian-Spiced Vegetable Fritters, Dreamy Cream Scones and Shrimp Cocktail

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Mushrooms and Greens with Toast
1.5 Years Ago: Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars
2.5 Years Ago: Japanese Vegetable Pancakes
3.5 Years Ago: Warm, Crisp and A Little Melty Salad Croutons
4.5 Years Ago: Leek Toasts with Blue Cheese

Date, Feta and Red Cabbage Salad

If you don’t like your cabbage too crunchy, dressing it as directed and letting it rest in the salad bowl for a while before adding the other ingredients will soften and wilt it a bit.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side

1 to 1 1/4 pounds red cabbage (1 small head or half of a large one), sliced very thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (I use lime)
Salt and red pepper flakes (I used the mild Aleppo variety) to taste
About 1/2 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped or sliced
4 ounces feta, crumbled into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons well-toasted sesame seeds

Toss cabbage with olive oil and first tablespoons of lime juice, plus salt and pepper, coating leaves evenly. Taste and add more lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. I do this a few times, making sure I really get this base well seasoned because it will be hard to do it as well later.

Toss dressed cabbage gently with half of dates and feta. Sprinkle with remaining dates, then feta, then parsley and sesame seeds. Dig in.

Do ahead: The whole salad can sit assembled for at least an hour, if not longer in the fridge. Mine is going strong on the second day. You can also prepare the parts separately (feta, chopped dates, sliced cabbage) to assemble right before serving, if you’re planning ahead for Thanksgiving or a dinner party.

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feta tapenade tarte soleil – smitten kitchen

Fully preoccupied with coming up with fun new shapes for my favorite cookie a few weeks ago, I went deep into a YouTube cooking show rabbit hole and emerged somewhere in France, where a twisted pastry that goes by the name tarte soleil stopped me in my tracks, and zipped itself right to the top of the Must! Cook! Now! list.

make the red pesto-tapenade-ish filling
roll out

It looks like it would take tweezer-level pastry cheffing to pull off, or at least some advanced mathematics. You’d imagine that this recipe would begin with a bracket of instructions labelled “Day One:” and you’d close the tab immediately. But you, like me, be forgetting that most French home cooking is remarkably simple (intentionally leaving the souffles and quenelles for the white tablecloth-ed establishments) and if you can find puffed pastry worth eating in the freezer case and leave it in the fridge overnight, you could be bringing this to a party an hour later. Trust me, I leave everything to the last minute and still got this out of the oven and digitally recorded with available light before the sun set at approximately 3:22 p.m. yesterday.

cut into a circle
spread the filling
dab with water at edges to seal
cutting the rays
twist, twist, twist
brush with egg wash
feta, cream cheese, lemon juice, olive oil

Which is the other reason this, to me, is the fitting-est thing to make this week as it’s both great party food (you get to grab those radiant beams by the crunchy ends and sweep them through a bowl of whipped lemony feta before chomping down, yess) and an upbeat celebration of the sun itself, which as of last week’s solstice, we’re finally going to see more of again as we tilt towards the light.

dipped in whipped feta

One year ago: Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini
Two years ago: Gingerbread Snacking Cake and Rum Campari Punch
Three years ago: Fromage Fort
Four years ago: Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs
Five years ago: Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies and Milk Punch
Six years ago: Spinach and Cheese Strata and Pear Bread
Seven years ago: Braised Beef Short Ribs
Eight years ago: A Blue Cheese Iceberg Wedge and Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Truffles
Nine years ago: Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Chocolate Chunk Granola Bars and Oven Ribs, Even Better
1.5 Years Ago: Cherry Almond Dutch Baby
2.5 Years Ago: Pickled Vegetable Sandwich Slaw and Peach and Pecan Sandy Crumble
3.5 Years Ago: Triple Berry Buttermilk Bundt and Chopped Salad with Feta, Lime and Mint
4.5 Years Ago: Blueberry Yogurt Multigrain Pancakes

Feta Tapenade Tarte Soleil
Inspired by a whole bunch of YouTube videos; the feta dip is from Ina Garten

I texted a picture of this to a friend yesterday and she said her husband “thought it was chocolate was getting in the car to come over” which seems like a good time to note the obvious: you could fill your puffed pastry sheets with anything you desire, so long as it’s spreadable and not too runny. On the savory end, I made a pesto-tapenade-ish blend of sundried tomatoes (because the 80s are back), kalamata olives, oregano and garlic and a dip of whipped feta that you could not possibly go wrong with. For a more subtle flavor, basil pesto or another garlic-herb paste, plus or minus some sharp cheese, this walnut pesto or pretty much anything else you can dream up would likely work well here too. Should you want to make a sweet version, perhaps jam, Nutella, melted chocolate, almond or another nut paste, and a sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar or chopped nuts (with or without a puddle of dark chocolate ganache to dip it in) might be fun places to start.

My puffed pastry packages were 1 pound each; my usual favorite brand (DuFour) comes in 14-ounce packages; if yours, too, are smaller, you’ll probably only get a 10 to 11-inch round out of it and might have a tablespoon or two of filling leftover. Btw, I added 1 tablespoon parsley leaves to my filling for color, but as is barely noticeable and added little flavor, you can absolutely skip it.

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves; thyme and rosemary would work too
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil or reserved oil from tomatoes, plus more to loosen if needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste

2 packages puffed pastry (leave in fridge overnight to thaw)
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
1 tablespoon sesame or poppy seeds to sprinkle (optional)

6 ounces feta, crumbled
2 ounces cream cheese, cold is fine
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Coarse or kosher salt, to taste (changed from 1/2 teaspoon, which could be overkill if your feta is very salty)
Freshly ground black pepper

Make the filling: Blend ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped and spreadable. Mixture will be thick. You can thin it with more olive oil if needed, but no need to make this thin like a sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Assemble the tart: Roll first package puffed pastry flat on a large piece of parchment paper or reusable baking mat into a 12-inch circle; use a 12-inch round plate or bowl to mark the size for a clean cut. Repeat with second dough, setting one aside in the fridge until needed.

Place first round on a parchment- or nonstick mat-lined baking sheet. Spread with filling to all but 1-inch from edge. Dab edges with water and place second round on top. Set a small glass upside down in the middle. Being careful not to cut through parchment paper or baking mat, cut away from glass (i.e. not through center) in quarters, or at the 3-, 6-, 9- and 12 o’clock marks. Cut through each quarter again, making 8 strips, and again, making 16 strips, and one last time so that you have 32 “rays” of pastry emanating from the center. If at any point in the cutting the pastry feels annoyingly soft and hard to cut, just pop the tray in the freezer for a few minutes to firm it back up.

Remove glass. Place finger near center of each ray (where it is most likely to break off prematurely) and gently twist each strand a few times. Beat egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water; brush it over pastry and sprinkle with seeds, if desired.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown all over.

Meanwhile, make whipped feta dip: Blend all filling ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Place in bowl for dipping.

Remove tart from oven, let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a serving platter. Tear off rays of sun, dip in whipped feta; repeat as needed.

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baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas – smitten kitchen

baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas – smitten kitchen

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Listen, this will surprise nobody at all, but I am not trendy. I am deeply uncool and I prefer it this way. It puts expectations right where they belong — low; no, lower, please. But I am not immune to TikTok. I, um, love TikTok, it’s my favorite time suck. Through it, I’ve learned so much about even more ways I can be uncool. Side parts! Laugh-cry emojis! It’s a whole thing. So is this baked feta, which is a spin on a baked pasta that’s been going viral the last few weeks. It began with a recipe developed by Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen called “Uunifetapasta,” which translates to oven-baked feta pasta. It’s an older recipe (2019 is “old” in TikTok) but it caught on again because tomatoes and feta are timeless. I like that it uses cherry tomatoes, which are obviously not as great in the winter as they are in the summer, but are surprisingly good year-round when roasted. You’ll see.

what you'll needready to bake

Now please don’t get upset, we all have our things, I just don’t really love feta with pasta, unless it’s a pasta salad, or sometimes orzo. I think it’s absolutely perfect, however, with beans, especially chickpeas, which hold up well to this heartier preparation. As a person who is always in need of lunch inspiration that’s not whatever my kids didn’t finish, this was perfect for yesterday, a day I grabbed the ingredients in the morning — our grocery store was suspiciously low on feta and cherry tomatoes I’m absolutely here for it — and we scooped it throughout the afternoon onto focaccia (this, halved and baked thin in a 9×13-inch pan), so grateful for the fresh idea.

baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeasbaked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas

The recipe is incredibly flexible — you could add some thin onion slices instead of in addition to the garlic; you could use more chili pepper or less; you could use a softer chèvre instead of feta; you can roast the tomatoes longer, until they’re saucier. You could add rice or farro instead of pasta or chickpeas. You could halve your tomatoes so they break down more — I did this with half of them, but the original recipe calls for them intact. I suspect that some will balk at the 1/2 cup of olive oil but I encourage you to use it to create the confit effect that carries that most flavor through the ingredients. I hope it inspires you, too.

baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas



6 months ago: Whole Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
1 year ago: New Classic Wedding Cake + How-To
2 years ago: Bodega-Style Egg-and-Cheese Sandwich
3 year ago: Stromboli and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
4 years ago: Guacamole and Broccoli Pizza
5 years ago: Banana Puddings with Vanilla Bean Wafers and Taco Torte
6 years ago: Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas and Chocolate Oat Crumble
7 years ago: Garlicky Party Bread with Herbs and Cheese and Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
8 years ago: Egg Salad with Pickled Celery and Coarse Dijon and Salted Caramel Brownies
9 years ago: Cheddar, Beer, and Mustard Pull-Apart Bread
10 years ago: Roast Chicken with Dijon Sauce and Mushroom and Farro Soup and Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions
11 years ago: Mixed Citrus Salad with Feta and Mint and Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes and New York Deli Rye Bread
12 years ago: Flaky Blood Orange Tart and Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
13 years ago: Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree and Matzo Ball Soup and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
14 years ago: Miniature Soft Pretzels and Sour Cream Bran Muffins

Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Chickpeas

  • 8-ounce (225-gram) block feta
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pints (3 to 4 cups) cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a red chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, basil, or rosemary, or a mix)
  • Flatbread or toasted pita wedges (gluten-free, if needed), for serving
Heat oven to 400°F.

Place feta in the middle of a 9×13-inch or other 3-quart baking dish. Pour olive oil over it and around the pan. Add tomatoes to the olive oil. Sprinkle tomatoes with garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and toss to coat with oil. Scatter chili pepper over feta.

Roast for 15 minutes, until tomatoes begin to release some juices. Add chickpeas to tomatoes around the feta, plus more salt and pepper, stirring to coat them with the oil. Return pan to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes or until tomatoes are as juicy as you’d like them to be.

Transfer the dish to the broiler part of your oven, or crank the oven heat as high as it goes. Broil for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the tomatoes and feta take on a little color.

To serve/eat, you can stir the softened feta into the tomato-chickpea mixture or you can do as I did, and leave it intact in the center, spooning some with each serving of the chickpeas and tomatoes. Scatter with herbs.


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