Baked Feta

Fall not only brings crisp, cool temps, but also busy schedules of soccer practice, raking leaves and perfecting Halloween costumes. So when we want a snack on a Sunday afternoon, it has to be quick, warm and robust. Baked Feta fits the bill, with it’s hot bubbly juices and soft, springy feta. Atop a nice crusty bread, this satisfies our appetite - until the next round. Enjoy!
-Queen Christine

Baked Feta
 
1/2 pound feta, cut to 1 inch cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
20 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 lemon, zested


1.   To pit the olives, place them on a flat work surface, using the back of a chef’s knife, carefully crush each olive. The pit will easily loosen from the fruit.
2.   In a small bowl, toss together the tomatoes, olives, thyme and half of the lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.
3.  In an oven safe dish, layer about a third of the tomato mix on the bottom, followed by the feta and the remaining tomato mixture on top. 
4.  Bake in oven at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until bubbling and browned.
5.  Remove from oven and finish with a drizzle of olive oil, basil and remaining lemon zest. Serve with crusty bread.