Vegan MoFo 2.2 | Baked Cheese with Tomatoes
When my fam and I were in Greece, about 5 years ago now, one of the first things we did was find a place to eat. We weren’t starving by any means, but we were all budding foodies at the time, and delicious Greek food was the only thing we could think about. As we hiked up the long, long, long set of stairs to get to the city of Santorini and dodged both donkeys and donkey doo-doo (I just said doo-doo, I’m a child), visions of olive oil and feta danced in our heads.
After we made it up to the city and strolled along the cobblestone streets, in awe of the brilliant blue waters and shimmering white building facades, we set out to find a place to eat first lunch (that’s a thing, trust me).
Since we had no expectations and are not in any way fancy (we definitely walked out of a ridiculously fancy restaurant in Croatia a few days before), we stepped into the first place we saw where the outside sign said “Baked Feta” – you had us at “Feta”.
In my cheese-eating days, I had been known to down an entire block or container of feta cheese, and after we discovered a bulk feta cheese bar at the local international market…well, you can just call me a (rehabilitated) feta connoisseur. Though I’d tried every feta I’d ever come across, I had never had it baked.
I was missing out. This baked feta came in a simple tin and had tomatoes on the bottom and a drizzle of olive oil on the top. It looked harmless enough, but as soon as I dipped a pita into it I knew it was going to be the end of me. It was soft, but not even close to melted, and the briney saltiness was out of this world. The tomatoes on the bottom almost served as a neutral palette cleanser and the olive oil brought it all together. Maybe it’s because we were in Greece, or maybe it was just really that good, but I to this day believe it was one of the single best things I’ve ever eaten.
But let’s be honest – we don’t have to harm animals in order to have nice things – amiright? So I’ve made a recreation of sorts for you to enjoy with a clear conscience. Though I didn’t take the time to make my own feta for this recipe, you definitely could. I used Daiya Provolone slices and added a bit of salt to the top to give it a bit more of that briney flavor of the original, and it honestly was a pretty close match (though it’s been so long since I had feta that I can hardly remember what it tastes like).
The texture ends up being of that same soft, yet not melted variety and the tomatoes and olive oil play similar roles as well. This is perfect for an appetizer or for eating with a spoon (not that I would know). Enjoy with pita chips or veggies for a delicious Mediterranean snack!
- 6 Slices Daiya Provolone, or a vegan feta
- ½ medium Tomato
- 1 tbsp High Quality Olive Oil
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the tomato thinly and line the bottom of a baking dish. Layer the cheese on top and top with the olive oil and salt.
- Bake for 10 minutes, remove, and let cool for 3-5 minutes before serving.
What is your favorite travel memory that involves food?