The broiler easily transforms thick slices of briny feta cheese into an impressive appetizer.
Broiled Feta with Olive Oil and Parsley
SERVES 8 to 12 FAST VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS We wanted to create an appetizer that would make warm, briny feta cheese the star. We decided to call on the intense heat of the broiler to create a browned exterior on the feta. To keep things simple, we patted ½-inch-thick slabs of feta dry, which encouraged maximum browning. We seasoned the cheese with red pepper flakes and pepper to balance the richness of the cheese. A drizzle of olive oil and a shower of fresh parsley completed our simple appetizer. Broilers can vary in strength dramatically, so use our cooking times as guidelines and check the feta often as it cooks. Slicing the feta into ½-inch-thick slabs is crucial; if sliced thinner, the cheese will crumble, but if sliced thicker, it will not heat through. Be sure to buy a large block of feta so that you can easily slice it into thick slabs. Serve with Olive Oil–Sea Salt Pita Chips or fresh warm pita.
2 (8-ounce) blocks feta cheese, sliced into ½-inch-thick slabs
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
Adjust oven rack 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Pat feta dry with paper towels and arrange in broiler-safe gratin dish. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and pepper. Broil until edges of cheese are golden, 3 to 8 minutes. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.
NOTES FROM THE TEST KITCHEN
In Greece, feta must be made from at least 70 percent sheep’s milk. In the United States, this rule doesn’t apply, so imitators abound; we found that none of them could beat the real deal. Our favorite brand, Mt. Vikos Traditional Feta, is from Greece and boasts plenty of tang with just enough salt.