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Monday, February 8, 2021

Sheet-pan Baked Feta with Vegetables

I made this this past holiday season with the last of my garden tomatoes and thought it one of the most beautiful dishes I've cooked; tastes great, too.

On it's way to the oven


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Sheet-pan Baked Feta with Vegetables

Adapted from:  NY Times Cooking
Serves: 4, as a main dish; more if a starter

1 bunch broccolini, trimmed and thick stalks split lengthwise or cut in chunks or broccoli, cut into bitesize pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (about 2 c)
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges no more than a half inch thick
3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved, optional
3 T olive oil, plus more for serving
1 teas ground cumin
1/2 teas red pepper flakes, or to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lemon, zested and cut in two, one half for squeezing and one for serving wedges 
2 (6- to 8-oz) blocks feta, cut into slices, half inch to an inch thick or vertically into strips
1/2 c fresh basil leaves or cilantro leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped (optional)

Set your oven rack in the lower third and preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the tomatoes, and onion wedges on a sheet pan and drizzle with the olive oil; toss. Sprinkle with the cumin and red-pepper flakes, and some salt and pepper, and toss once more. Place in the oven and cook for 5 minutes. Pull the baking sheet out and add the broccolini and lemon zest. Squeeze one half of the lemon over all and toss to combine. Place the feta slices among the vegetables. It's all right if they break up a bit (at least one NY Times commenter prefers crumbling the feta into good sized chunks).

Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, stopping half way through to stir as well as you can while avoiding disturbing the feta. Cook until the broccolini is charred at the tips and the stems can be pierced easily. The tomatoes should break down a bit and their skin should blister.

Remove from the oven; drizzle with more olive oil. Top with herbs, if using. This can be served as is with crusty bread or over orzo, pearl couscous, or farro. Pass remaining lemon wedges.

Notes:

At my altitude (nearly 5000 feet, I had to cook this longer than the suggested time.

If you go to the NY Times Cooking website and peruse the comments, you'll find that this recipe is quite versatile. Home cooks have employed a grill for roasting, have used different seasonings (Italian herbs, for example), and have added other vegetables, including corn, red peppers, summer squash, potatoes and/or olives. There are suggestions for marinated tofu or a different cheese, such as halloumi. Commenters have added chicken thighs (cooked for 35 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients), sausage, and shrimp (added late so they don't overcook). And some have added canned (and drained) beans. 

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