Roasted Feta Cheese, Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce, Z'aatar and Grilled Pita Bread

Makes 12 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. feta cheese, cut in 1-1/2" cubes
  • 1-1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tsp. juniper berries, ground
  • 1 tsp. z’aatar*
  • 1 can (28 oz.) San Marzano peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. shallots, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1 tsp. Spanish paprika
  • 1/4 c. kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 c. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp. red chile flakes
  • Pita bread

Instructions:

Marinated Cheese:

Marinate cheese cubes in mixture of 1 cup olive oil, lemon zest, oregano, juniper berries and z’aatar for at least 1 hour.

Tomato Sauce:

Heat oven to 425°F. Drain liquid from tomatoes; split tomatoes and drain liquid inside tomatoes; reserve liquid. Place tomatoes in oven-proof pan. Roast 20 to 30 minutes or until dried.

Heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic. Cook 3 minutes; stir in wine and paprika. Add roasted tomatoes, reserved liquid and all remaining ingredients, except pita bread. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

Final Preparation:

Heat oven to 375°F. Pour tomato sauce in shallow 1-quart oven proof casserole. Top with marinated cheese. Roast in oven 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese starts to brown. Serve in casserole or on individual plates with grilled pita bread.

*Z'aatar is a pungent Middle Eastern spice blend of toasted sesame seeds, thyme, majoram and sumac.

Photo & recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.