We have an amazing greek restaurant in Richmond called Stella’s. It’s the kind of greek place where you feel you need to dress up a bit and you absolutely have to have a reservation. It’s not exactly fancy, but homey is too homey a word to use as well. It’s just, well, perfect- alive and delicious. There is no blue and white around, no overt homage to the greek isles. What there is is amazing food. The kind where you can taste the thought and intention. You leave feeling like you’ve taken a bath in olive oil. In a good way.
On my last trip with a dear friend who getting hitched and moving out of town, we had a baked feta dish that swam in olive oil, tomatoes and olives. Alongside the fresh, soft pita bread with which it is served we were in awe. And I was determined to recreate it at home.
- 8 oz. block feta cheese (important that it is not crumbled)
- ½ cup roughly chopped roasted red peppers
- 1 cup whole olives (a medley is suggested; kalamata, green, etc)
- 1 bunch of small tomatoes on the vine, or 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (use the good stuff)
- 1 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- your choice of pita chips or soft pita, cut into wedges for serving
- Heat your oven to 350. In a small oven safe ramekin, place the block of feta. Layer the dish with the red peppers then the olives then the tomatoes. If the tomatoes are on the vine then just set them on top of the other ingredients. Pour the olive oil on everything. Sprinkle with the tarragon and black pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to blister and everything is bubbling. You may want to put your ramekin on a baking sheet in case of spillage.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and serve with your favorite dipping chips or pita.