This weekend was the first time I visited Iowa without a jacket and boots. The recent streak of 100°+ days we were warned about gave way to much better temperatures. We wore shorts, drank great rosé wine, and danced all night at a wedding. We drove with the windows down, were charmed by Moonrise Kingdom, and picked tomatoes from the backyard garden of the home where Danny grew up. He mastered that little move in the wrist to flip egg in a pan and turn it into the perfect omelet. We dipped strawberries in chocolate and grilled salmon for dinner until the skin was crisp.
Broiled feta with honey was part of the plan well before we landed in Iowa City. The idea came from a book Danny’s mom, Kathy, said she didn’t really like except for this recipe that sounded good. And it was.
There’s not much to preparing feta cheese this way, and there are so many ways to tweak it depending on what you like beyond the combination of salty feta and sweet local honey. Grind black pepper over the cheese to finish it. Try garnishing the cheese with some thyme or parsley. Lay the cheese over a salad. Try mixing in a favorite spice with the honey (this recipe originally used aniseed). Let me know what you come up with.
broiled feta with honey
Play around with the toppings for this broiled, bubbly cheese each time you make it. Try finishing it off with fresh herbs like parsley or basil. Try toasted pine nuts or cut the pieces of cheese into chunks and toss them into a salad.
1 block (8 to 12 ounces) feta cheese cut into long slices about 3 inches wide and 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup honey
a handful of crushed almonds (optional)
Turn on broiler. Place cheese slices in a few ceramic ramekins that can handle the heat of the broiler. Brush cheese with oil.
Cook until cheese bubbles and the edges turn golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Watch cheese carefully so it doesn’t burn, and give it another 2 minutes at a time if it’s not yet bubbly and browning.
Remove ramekins and let cool for a minute before moving to another plate. Drizzle honey over the cheese or heat honey in a small saucepan over medium heat if you want to thin it out. Sprinkle crushed nuts over cheese if using and serve.
Serves 4. Adapted from “The Mediterranean Diet” by Marissa Cloutier and Eve Adamson.