Here’s a way to transform feta: Bake it. With almost no effort on your part, the fresh tangy, briny cheese develops a creaminess similar to goat cheese. You’ll want to toss slabs in the oven all the time. In this especially easy vegetarian dinner, broccolini chars alongside the feta as grape tomatoes burst, red onions caramelize and lemon slices soften. Eat the mix straight from the pan or serve over a pile of orzo or with bread.
Baked feta with broccolini, tomatoes and lemon
• 1 bunch broccolini, ends trimmed, thick stalks split lengthwise, or broccoli, stalks trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
• 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
• 1 small red onion, peeled, quartered and cut into 2-inch wedges
• 1 lemon, 1/2 cut into thin rounds and the remaining 1/2 left intact, for serving
• 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• Kosher salt and black pepper
• 2 (6to 8-ounce) blocks feta, cut into 1-inch slices
• Cooked orzo or farro, for serving
• 1/2 cup fresh basil or cilantro leaves and fine stems, roughly chopped (optional)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack set in the lower third. On a sheet pan, combine the broccolini, tomatoes, onion and lemon slices with the olive oil and toss. Add cumin and red pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, and toss again until evenly coated. Nestle the feta slices into the vegetables.
Roast 15-20 minutes, stirring halfway through but leaving the feta in place, until the broccolini is charred at the tips, the stems are easily pierced with a fork and the tomato skins blister and break down.
Serve over orzo or farro. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the remaining lemon half for squeezing.
Total time: 25 minutes, serves 4.
Broccolini has a tender stalk so trim the bottom half-inch and enjoy the rest. You can cut the broccolini, feta and lemon into bite-size pieces and toss with the orzo for a salad.
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