mezze: roasted feta with thyme honey

roasted feta with thyme honey
A lovely salad, perfect for a meal of mezze or just a summer picnic. Use one of the monofloral honeys such as thyme honey, which comes from Greece or New Zealand. It's slight herby flavour compliments the fresh herbs in this recipe.

Monofloral honeys are honeys which are from the nectar from largely one plant species. (Although you can appreciate that it can't be exclusively one species!) These honeys tend to have a distinctive flavour, depending on which plant the bees have been foraging.

It isn't essential to have a flower honey, but it will add a little extra dimension to the flavour of the cheese. Sainsbury's have recently extended their "Taste the Difference" range of honeys, to include Spanish lavender, New Zealand thyme and Romanian lime blossom. I can only vouch for the Romanian lime blossom, which while in the jar had quite a citrussy though medicinal smell, mellowed completely to meld with the creamy tangy cheese.

Serves 4-6
Skill level: Easy

1 x slab of Greek feta cheese, (about 200g), rinsed and patted dry
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp honey (thyme honey if you can get it)
1 tsp fresh thyme
freshly ground black pepper
pitta breads, lightly warmed and cut into wedges
tomatoes (preferably plum or on-the-vine), sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6/200C.
  2. Take a small oven-proof dish and line it with silver foil. (This will help you to transfer the cheese to a plate after roasting).
  3. Place the feta in the dish and cover with the olive oil and sprinkle with thyme leaves.
  4. Bake until the cheese is soft and springy to the touch but not melted; (this should take about 8-10 minutes).
  5. Preheat the grill.
  6. Lightly toast the pitta bread and cut into wedges
  7. Heat the honey in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water until it is fluid enough to be spread with a pastry brush. (You could also do this in the microwave, by warming the jar in 10 to 20 second bursts).
  8. Brush the surface of the feta with the melted honey.
  9. Place the dish under the grill and grill until the cheese begins to brown and bubble.
  10. Season to taste with black pepper.
  11. Serve immediately with wedges of pitta bread and sliced tomatoes.


afoodobsession said...

what a perfect recipe....honey so underused, one of my favorite ingredients and flavors, esp. all the different varieties...and roasted feta...genius.

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Peter - I couldn't agree with your more (about honey, not my assumed genius!) I love the subtle and perfumed sweetness of honey, rather than using sugar. Actually I have Moroccan lamb recipe that has a lot of chilli in it (from using ras-el-hanout spice mix) which would blow your socks off - but a dollop of honey makes it sublime.