Baked feta with herbs is an appetizer that is attractive as it is easy to make. (Photo for The Washington Post by Tom McCorkle; food styling for The Washington Post by Lisa Cherkasky.)

Baked feta with herbs is an appetizer that is attractive as it is easy to make. (Photo for The Washington Post by Tom McCorkle; food styling for The Washington Post by Lisa Cherkasky.)

This warm, herby feta will make your guests reach for seconds

The recipe calls for parsley and dill, but you could add or substitute chives, basil or cilantro.

The recipes I get most excited about are those with a high impressiveness-to-effort ratio — that is they elicit big oohs and aahs from guests but require hardly any work.

This dish ranks well toward the top on that list. To make it, all you need to do is slice a block of feta cheese into half-inch-thick planks and chop a couple of teaspoons of fresh herbs. I call for parsley and dill here, but you could add or substitute chives, basil or cilantro if you like.

The slab of feta, freckled with crushed red pepper flakes and ground black pepper, emerges from the oven warm and soft — almost custardlike — ready to be sprinkled with the fresh herbs. Served right in its baking vessel, it couldn’t be easier or more attractive. Of course, this being the Nourish column, it’s a relatively healthful option, too.

That’s because feta cheese naturally has fewer calories and less saturated fat than brie, the other cheese we tend to serve melted right out of the oven, and because it is accompanied here by an array of crisp, seasonal vegetables (and some pita chips), which keep the overall dish fresh, colorful and light.

Baked feta with herbs

Make ahead: The cheese may be reheated in a 400-degree oven, until just warmed through.

1 slab of feta cheese, about ½-inch thick (4 ounces)

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Generous pinch freshly ground black pepper

Generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh dill

Any combination of vegetables such as endive leaves, radish wedges and sliced cucumber, for serving

Pita chips, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pat the feta dry with paper towel, then brush both sides of the cheese slab with oil.

Place the cheese slab in an ovenproof dish such as a ceramic baking dish or small cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle it with the black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Bake (middle rack) for about 12 minutes, until the cheese is warmed through and has softened but still retains its shape.

Scatter the herbs over the top, and serve with the vegetables and pita chips.

Makes 4 servings. Nutrition per serving: 90 calories, 4 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, 7 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 260 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber, no sugar.

Talk to us

More in Life

R.J. Whitlow, co-owner of 5 Rights Brewery, has recently expanded to the neighboring shop, formerly Carr's Hardware. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
County craft breweries’ past lives: hardware store, jail

Most breweries in Snohomish County operate in spaces that formerly housed something far different — from boat builders to banks.

Caption: Stay-at-home parents work up to 126 hours a week. Their labor is valuable even without a paycheck.
A mother’s time is not ‘free’ — and they put in 126-hour workweeks

If you were to pay a stay-at-home mom or dad for their time, it would cost nearly $200,000 a year.

CloZee performs during the second day of Summer Meltdown on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Darrington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The psychedelic fest Summer Meltdown is back — and in Monroe

The music and camping event is on for July 28-31, with a new venue along the Skykomish River.

How to cultivate inner peace in the era of COVID, insurrection

Now more than ever, it’s important that we develop and practice relaxation and mindfulness skills that calm our minds and bodies.

Budapest’s House of Terror.
Cold War memories of decadent Western pleasures in Budapest

It’s clear that the younger generation of Eastern Europeans has no memory of the communist era.

Gardening at spring. Planting tree in garden. Senior man watering planted fruit tree at his backyard
Bare root trees and roses have arrived for spring planting

They’re only available from January through March, so shop early for the tree or rose you want.

Help! My Expedia tour credit is about to expire

Kent York cancels his tour package in Norway that he booked through Expedia after the pandemic outbreak. But the hotel won’t offer a refund or extend his credit. Is he about to lose $1,875?

Veteran Keith F. Reyes, 64, gets his monthly pedicure at Nail Flare on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 in Stanwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No more gnarly feet: This ‘Wounded Warrior’ gets pedicures

Keith Reyes, 64, visits a Stanwood nail salon for “foot treatments” that help soothe blast injuries.

Photo Caption: A coal scuttle wasn't always used for coal; it could hold logs or collect ashes. This one from about 1900 sold for $125 at DuMouchelles in Detroit.
(c) 2022 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
Coal scuttles of days long gone by now used for fire logs

This circa 1900 coal scuttle is made of oak with brass trim, and sold for $125 at auction.

Most Read