This Baked Feta Makes Weeknight Vegetarian Cooking a Breeze

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Weve all been there: Youve just arrived home, its late, and the thought of cooking dinner for yourself is the kind of activity that will haunt your nightmares. You could turn to deliverybut by the time the takeout is delivered itll invariably be cold and soggy. So why not rely on Keeping It Simple, a cookbook all about unfussy, one-pot weeknight cooking?

Related Reading:Make This Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili That Even Meat Eaters Will Love

Written by Yasmin Fahr, a food writer and recipe developer, Keeping It Simple is inspired by One-Pot Wonders, Yasmins one-pot cooking column for Serious Eats. The book is divided into a few sectionswith chapters titled Oven to Table, Faster Than Delivery, and Salad for Dinnerand filled with 60 creative one-pot dishes, along with tips for kitchen shortcuts and techniques.

Keeping It Simple, $22.49 on Amazon

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Weeknights will look a whole lot different once you get your hands on the book. A simple seared chicken is transformed into miso-ghee chicken paired with roasted radishes; packaged instant ramen gets an upgrade with Yasmins adult ramen soup, swimming with ground pork, enoki mushrooms, and a soft-boiled egg; and Sunday supper sauce no longer takes a full afternoon to make thanks to her recipe for less-than-an-hour beef ragu.

USA Sheet Baking Pan and Bakeable Nonstick Cooling Rack, $35.92 on Amazon

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Ahead, find Yasmins recipe for baked feta with greens and lemon-tahini sauce, a vegetarian dish that even meat lovers will devour. Hunks of feta bake on a cookie tray atop a layer of kale and chickpeas until soft and golden brown, then drizzled with a tangy tahini dressing and a showering of pumpkin seeds. Its vegetarian cooking at its most inventive and tastywithout having to rely on a bowl of pasta or simple salad.

Recipe excerpted with permission from Keeping It Simple by Yasmin Fahr, published by Hardie Grant Books February 2020, RRP $24.99 Flexibound.

Baked Feta with Greens and Lemon-Tahini Dressing

There arent many times when I think that feta can get better than it is in its natural state. It already adds a tangy creaminess to dishes, so it almost feels selfish to ask more of it. And yet, when you bake it, it transforms into something different not better but, just as good. It becomes softer, both in texture and taste, and feels like a more gentle way to eat feta, if that makes sense. Plus, the leftovers are solid.

Recipe notes: If you are not into feta (we can talk about this later), try halloumi and cut it into small cubes. Halloumi is a brined cheese with a high melting point, which makes it easy to grill, fry or bake without it falling apart. The only downside is that if you let it cool too long, it gets rubbery in texture.

Leftover notes: The next day, mix leftovers with scrambled eggs or use on top of cooked grains with the dressing.

Baked Feta with Greens and Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutesCook Time: 20 minutesServes: 2-4
  • 400 g (15 oz) tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
  • 300 g (10 oz) red or curly kale, or cavolo nero (lacinato kale), leaves removed from stems, cut or hand torn into 5 cm (2 in) pieces (about 3 packed cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 x 200 g (8 oz) blocks feta, preferably Bulgarian, halved horizontally to make 3 cm (1 in) thick pieces
  • 30 g (1 oz/ cup) pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F/Gas 6) with a baking tray (sheet pan) inside.
  2. When the oven is ready, remove the baking tray and carefully add the chickpeas and kale, then toss with the oil, salt, pepper and spices, using a wooden spoon or your hands, making sure not to burn yourself. Spread the ingredients evenly, then create little pockets to nestle the feta into, making sure they have direct contact with the baking tray. Drizzle the feta with olive oil and pepper.
  3. Return to the oven and bake until feta has softened, the kale has browned in spots and the chickpeas become crisp with a darker brown hue around 1520 minutes. Mix the kale and chickpeas around with a wooden spoon halfway through and leave the feta as it is, but do keep an eye on it towards the end of cooking time so it doesnt go from nice and crisp to burned. Add the pumpkin seeds during the last 5 minutes of cooking, when the kale has just started to crisp and become an intense green-brown.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small serving bowl, whisk together the tahini, extra-virgin olive oil, juice of 2 lemons and salt and pepper, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Remove the tray and squeeze the rest of the lemon juice on the greens and chickpeas. Divide between plates and serve with the dressing on the side.