I wasn’t going to post this as I did this about a year ago now, but a friend of mine changed my mind.
I had been talking about this to my friend which I though most people did this I.E marinating cheese but he said he hadn’t ever tried it. He looked very interested in it and started asking me what the process was and how long it took. He knows that Feta isn’t my favourite cheese also which made him even more interested. When I did this to the Feta Oh my! I will always do this with it and experiment with other cheeses too. In fact I may have to do it again this weekend as its great to have in your fridge when friends come round unannounced or even for nibbles.
It gives a really nice unique flavour to it and also turns a “basic, no frills” cheese into a speciality one. When you do this to feta, you also get a fantastic oil to work with, so do not get rid of it. It works fabulously tossed through pasta or rice and drizzled over bread to make Bruschetta’s, its just heavenly. Not to forget, a ready made salad dressing in itself.
This would be a great present for a foodie lover, possibly for Christmas, a Birthday or even to turn up to an al fresco party of some kind. Just imagine, you have an old Jar left over from something, spend 90p roughly on a block of Feta, use up some herbs and oil, stick a bow on it and what a great gift that will surely bring a smile to a friends face.
– An Empty Jar, approximately one that had 300g/300ml product in, sterilised
– A block of Feta or Greek style salad cheese approximatley 200g
– Olive oil or Rapeseed oil to fill the Jar
– Handful of “Sun-blushed” Tomatoes
– Selection of fresh herbs such as Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano and Lemon Thyme just pulled not chopped
– 3-4 Garlic cloves bashed
– Small handful of Black peppercorns
– Few slithers of chopped red chillies or chilli flakes
* Its very simple: You put all ingredients into the jar and let it sit in the fridge for about a week for all the flavours to infuse and you are done!
Between Saturday 13th and Sunday 21st of June this year it is National Picnic week. A great opportunity for families and friends to get outdoors and involve food and drink.
I personally love picnics, I don’t do enough of them but am determined to have more this year, as I love being outdoors and love the countryside. I feel it’s a great way for children to experiment more with food and also learn things such as the wildlife around them from being outdoors.
Picnics are a great frugal way of spending time together with your loved ones and getting people involved with food. Now it doesn’t have to be all about “beige food” either, be as colourful as you can with food on picnics, use up your leftovers to create rice, pasta and noodle salads. Look in your fridge and come up with what you can. Don’t feel you have to go and buy a load of food in, thats the beauty of it, creating what you can on a budget, and thats exactly what I did here for this weeks Food Friday with Ben Jackson on my regular slot on BBC Radio Leicester. (Listen here)
I took a look at what I had that was on its last legs, of which were my lovely British vine tomatoes and an Aubergine I bought the day before for 10p!
I decided to do a lovely Summer tart, It is super easy to do, will cost you less to nothing but has some great punchy flavours.
Even if Picnics aren’t your thing, you may have some friends over for some “Al fresco” dining which I can assure you, this will impress them immensely!
One thing to also state is the versatility of this, you can change the vegetables to something such as Peppers or courgettes. Or as Ben suggested, crumble some feta on top.
I know one thing, I will be making many different versions of this including a courgette one, when mine come to harvest and look out for some more Picnic recipes for you to try soon.
(One Block of 500g Puff Pastry will make 2 Tarts)
– Some Plain flour for sprinkling
– Half block of 5oog Puff Pastry
– One medium sized Red Onion sliced
– 2-3 large tomatoes sliced into wedges
– A Few thin slices of Aubergine
– 2 cloves of Garlic finely chopped
– A selection of fresh herbs, I used Thyme, Lemon Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary
– Sea salt and Cracked Black pepper to season
– Drizzle of Chilli oil over the top if you wish or You could use Rapeseed or Olive oil
* Preheat Oven to 200-220c
* Roll out your Pastry on a floured surface with a Rolling pin to just under a Pound coin’s thickness.
* Score slightly with a knife a couple of cm’s in around the Edge of the Pastry to allow to puff up at the sides.
* Prick with a fork a good few times so that the Pastry won’t rise to high.
* Place your Red onion slices on, then your Tomatoes, Season with salt and pepper and pop in the Oven for 10 minutes.
* After 10 minutes, place your Aubergine slices in between the slices of tomato, add your Garlic, herbs and drizzle your oil over and place back into the Oven for a further 10 minutes or when the tart is Golden brown with no “Soggy bottom”