Say cheese with feta

Feta cheese from Greece is a hugely versatile ingredient
Hello and welcome to all about food. The gingergirl kitchen is in full production mode as we hit peak time with our fruit…rhubarb and strawberry jam, apricot preserve, blackcurrant jam, spiced tomato and apple chutney, gooseberry and elderflower jam…all handmade. For a list of stockists see www.gingergirl.ie

Hello and welcome to all about food. The gingergirl kitchen is in full production mode as we hit peak time with our fruit…rhubarb and strawberry jam, apricot preserve, blackcurrant jam, spiced tomato and apple chutney, gooseberry and elderflower jam…all handmade. For a list of stockists see www.gingergirl.ie

Ask gingergirl

Hello gingergirl,

I am always trying to get my children to try different foods and one of the most recent success foods has been feta cheese. So far I have incorporated feta into pasta dishes but I am looking to broaden my range. Do you have any suggestions?

Many thanks,

Mairead, Newport.

Hi Mairead,

I am a big fan of feta cheese, I think the tangy, salty taste and crumbly texture is the perfect combination. Feta cheese is a traditional Greek curd cheese, made from sheep or goats’ milk, it is usually sold in block form in a brine solution. A classic Greek dish using feta is spanakopita, a spinach pie with a filling of chopped spinach, feta cheese, onion and egg wrapped in filo pastry. For something a little simpler though I highly recommend this herby baked feta.

I am forever playing about with this recipe depending on my mood and on what is in my cupboards - see recipe variations below.

Baked feta with tomato and herbs

(serves 4).

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

A generous pinch of chilli flakes

2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped

One tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves, chopped

One tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped

2 x 200g blocks of feta cheese, broken up into large chunks

A loaf of your favourite crusty bread, to serve

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the chilli and tomatoes and simmer for 25 minutes until the sauce thickens. Stir in the oregano and parsley and set aside.

Heat the oven to 200ºc. Place the feta cheese in an ovenproof dish, cover with the sauce and bake for 20 minutes. This dish is delicious served with lots of crusty bread and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Recipe variation: this dish also works well with goat’s cheese. If you want to increase the vegetable content try browning some diced aubergine or courgettes with the garlic. For a more substantial meal I like to serve this dish with some cured meats and olives.

Contact gingergirl

www.gingergirl.ie

email: helen@gingergirl.ie

Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

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