Saturday, August 1, 2009

Feta Cheese For Me!

I love feta and eagerly prepare most recipes containing it. Last week I bought the 8 oz packaged Athenos feta that is in block form, as opposed to being crumbled. I prefer to buy it this way as it is easier to cut a piece off to snack on! I bought the feta to stuff in to banana peppers. I think that an associate principal, Lynn, from my teaching days gave me this idea.

Feta Stuffed Banana Peppers

10-12 fresh banana peppers (Look for these in the summer at the farmer's market. Make sure they are "sweet" or "mild" peppers.)
4 oz block feta cheese
extra virgin olive oil

The peppers can be sauteed or baked. If baking, preheat oven to 350 deg. Slice down the side of the pepper lengthwise. Make a T-shaped slit by slicing it across near the stem. Pry open and scrape out seeds and ribs.

Cut feta into thin slices that can be stuffed into the peppers. Stuff peppers.

Sauteeing Instructions: Secure closed with toothpicks. Heat olive oil in a skillet (I prefer cast iron.) over medium heat. Add peppers, and sautee until softened turning often.

Baking Instructions: In a 9 x 9 glass baking pan, slit-side up. Sprinkle peppers with olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes until peppers are tender.

Hummus and Feta on Rustic Bread

To build a sandwich, spread a tablespoon of hummus on each of two pieces of rustic bread. On one piece, place spinach leaves atop the hummus. On the other side, put slices of feta. Put two sides together to make a flavorful sandwich. If using bagged bread, toast before using.

Hummus and Feta Wrap

Spread two tablespoons of hummus on a whole wheat tortilla. Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes, crumbled feta, and spinach leaves. Roll up and enjoy! This was one of my favorite lunches while pregnant.

Greek Salad

I'm not sure if it is still open, but there was a restaurant named Harper's in East Lansing, MI. The Greek Salad at Harper's had finely chopped toppings. When the ingredients are chopped small, the flavors blend well. This is my favorite way to construct a salad:

5 oz bagged romaine or baby spinach leaves, sliced a little to make leaves slightly smaller
1 medium tomato chopped finely
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3/4 cup crumbled feta, or feta cut into tiny cubes
1/2 cucumber, chopped finely
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1/4 cup sliced calamata olives (can use black olives)
1/4 cup chopped pickled banana peppers (or garnish with pepperoncini)

Toss lettuce with toppings or top lettuce on individual plates with toppings. Generously sprinkle extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper on the salads. Serve with an ample amount of lemon wedges.