Spicy Baked Feta – Bouyiourdi
Bouyiourdi (Pronounced Boo-your-thee) is a classic and popular Greek appetizer made with pantry and fridge staples (In a Greek home). It’s great for impromptu or planned gatherings. It’s the perfect meze served with crusty bread or pita and also great accompanied with wine, ouzo, and tsipouro. There are a few cooking methods for this dish: In the oven, placed in a ceramic baking dish, wrapped in aluminum foil in the oven, or on the grill. It can also be baked in individual sized baking dishes or ramekins. That is the way I made mine. It makes for a delicious side or appetizer and you can barely wait for it to come out of the oven to dip your bread into the bottom of the dish sopping up all the flavours, let alone tear into the warm and gooey feta.
I have made a few versions of this but I thought I would share my friend Eleni’s recipe. It’s simple and turns out fabulous every time. This recipe is from Eleni’s first cookbook (hope there are more to come Eleni) called All You Can Greek. There are several reasons I feel connected to Eleni despite only meeting her last month. We started our blog around the same time, and I feel we also blog the same way. I’m not a trained writer just like Eleni - we write what we know and love about the food we make and any associations we have to it. It’s simple informative with a bit of our personality shining though. Her approach to Greek food is refreshing and based on her experience with it. There’s no right or wrong way or this area of Greece does it better than an other - but just the love of food and the way she has been exposed to it through her family and experiences in Greece (I call that Greek without the judgyness - hee hee)
She shares a bit of history to each recipe she makes and also her attachment to it. Her love of Greek food and her heritage is strong despite being born in North America like myself. She has the opportunity to go to Greece often and that is how I met up with her in Athens last month. It was so awesome to finally meet her and she was kind enough to share a copy of her book. Her book reflects her love of Greece and travels and even shares a whole section of her book dedicated to Life & Travel where she includes useful Greek words and phrases especially helpful if you are planning a trip, popular beaches (thanks for including my pick), souvenir shopping and much much more. You will love her book and get a very palatable taste of Greece through her recipes, her photographs and insight on traveling to Greece. Thank you Eleni for the book and the wonderful recipe and meet up!
- 1 tomato, sliced
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small jalapeño or a handful of pepperoncini peppers, sliced into thin rings
- 1 think slice of feta (not crumbled)
- 1 tbsp oregano
- ½ tsp of chili flakes
- ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a clay pot or shallow baking dish, arrange the tomatoes on the bottom of the dish, reserving two slices for the top. Stack the onions and peppers on top of the tomatoes, again reserving some slices for the top. Sprinkle with half of the oregano.
Place the feta on top of the vegetables. Top the feta with the remaining slices of tomatoes, onions and peppers in a nice arrangement.
Drizzle liberally with olive oil and finish with the remaining oregano and chili flakes
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the feta is lightly golden and gooey
Serve as is in the pot with warm crusty bread for dunking
Alternative directions: feel free to divide the feta and ingredients in to 3-4 individual pots for individual portions. For the aluminum foil pack method: using two layers of aluminum place the vegetables and feta onto the foil in the same way directed above. Wrap the foil and seal tight and place on a baking sheet. Bake until the feta is browned and vegetables softened
This is a recipe you most definitely can make to suit. If you would like more tomatoes add more tomatoes. The amount of feta you decide to use is up to you. The thicker your slab of feta is the longer it will need to bake to soften, and the more your veggies underneath it will cook so make the changes according to your taste keeping that in mind.