Grilled Feta with Honey and Za’atar

So you’ve been invited to another backyard cookout and don’t know what to bring. I stumbled across the most fabulous and EASY recipe last summer. The Mediterranean Baked Feta from Smitten Kitchen was totally decadent. My in-laws and their guests devoured it. None of them are huge feta fans, but when you roast it, the texture and taste are totally different. It became a creamy savory spread that we inhaled with store-bought pita chips.

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Mix together your topping ingredients

I decided to mess with it a bit and try some other combinations and recommend you do the same. This combination of sweet, tangy, creamy and spicy was my absolute favorite. If you don’t have za’atar (which is not too hard to find these days – easy online but I’ve even seen it at Walmart!), you could just use a combination of dried oregano, thyme, cumin, and coriander but the sumac in za’atar really does make it stand out.

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Dry feta and place on a cross of aluminum foil. Top with honey-spice mixture.

You can totally do this in the oven (and presentation is frankly a lot prettier) but I love the added smokiness you get from the grill. Plus it’s pretty cool to see people freak out over how delicious something cooked in a simple foil pouch on the grill can be.

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Fold up edges of foil but don’t close all the way. Grill over medium heat for 15 minutes, spooning (or basting) with topping every 5 minutes or so. It will be very soft.

Grilled Feta with Honey and Za’atar

  • 1 8-10 oz block feta cheese, blotted dry
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 T honey
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 T za’atar (or herbs of choice)
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • Extra lemon zest and chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat grill. Cut two pieces of aluminum foil and cross them so they look like a plus sign. Place feta block in the middle of the foil . Combine olive oil, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice, za’atar and red pepper in a small bowl. Pour over top and sides of feta. Quickly, bring up the edges of the foil to make a little bowl that will not leak (don’t close the top all the way). Place on grill and close lid until heated through, about 15 minutes, spooning sauce over top ever five minutes or so.

Remove foil pouch from grill and carefully transfer the feta to a serving plate, pouring any liquid over the top. Garnish with additional lemon zest, pepper flakes and parsley. Serve with pita chips or fresh grilled pita. Prepare to impress your friends and family with the first course at that cook out!

(To do this in the oven, place the feta in an oven proof baking dish and brush with olive oil-honey mixture. Roast at 400F for about 15 minutes, checking often to be sure the honey doesn’t burn. Serve with warm pita wedges or sesame crackers)

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So my transfer to the serving dish didn’t go so well. It’s supposed to be a pretty little block of softened feta, not whatever this is. Oh well, I’m human and it tasted delicious!

 

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