Oven Baked Ontario Feta With Hot Honey, Thyme & Tomatoes
When it comes to baking cheeses, most people instantly picture something melty and gooey like a baked brie or that perfect cheese trail when you pull a slice out of a freshly baked pizza.
But today, we're indulging in a totally different baked cheese experience by baking our Flower Station feta-style cheese from Back Forty Artisan Cheese!
Baked feta is a classic Mediterranean dish, usually prepared as an appetizer and paired with other Mediterranean ingredients like olives, tomatoes, capers, and garlic, and served with pita or bread.
We're putting a local spin on this Mediterranean favourite add adding a little heat by baking our local Flower Station cheese, drizzling it with our new Buzz Hot Honey from Zing, and pairing it with some fresh oven roasted Ontario grape tomatoes from Elmira's, fresh thyme and lemon zest and serving it with a warm and crusty Spent Goods baguette.
The perfect combination of salty, tart, spicy and cheesy, this recipe is a must try for any feta lover!
Flower Station by Back Forty Artisan Cheese
Named after the picturesque hamlet in Lanark County, Back Forty's Flower Station cheese is very similar to a traditional feta cheese, providing an authentic taste of the Mediterranean made here in Ontario! This is a semi-firm, uncooked, and unpressed raw ewe's milk cheese.
You want to make sure you choose Flower Station over our Best Baa Dairy feta for this specific recipe, simply because of the texture. Our Best Baa feta, while equally delicious, is much softer than Flower Station and it will turn into a pancake (yes, we tried it) if you try to bake it!
Zing's New "Buzz" Hot Honey
This was our first recipe with Zing's brand new Buzz Hot Honey co-developed with Chef Christine Flynn and wow, this honey packs some serious flavour!
This bright, floral, and spicy honey is infused with natural ingredients including chilies, Aleppo pepper, lime leaf, lemongrass, and coriander. Sweet and tart with the perfect amount of heat, this hot honey pairs so well with Back Forty's mild and salty Flower Station cheese and helps give it that beautiful golden caramelization when baked.
Elmira's Grape Tomatoes
These greenhouse grown tomatoes from Elmira's Own in Elmira, Ontario. These beauties are grown in a greenhouse so that we are able to enjoy farm-fresh local tomatoes year round!
Spent Goods Par-Baked Baguette
These parbaked beer baguettes are flavourful, nutritious, and made with whole grains from our friends at Spent Goods. Finish baking at home to get that warm, fresh out of the oven taste and texture!
- 1 x wedge Back Forty Flower Station Cheese
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp Zing x Christine Flynn Buzz Hot Honey
- 1 x Elmira's Gourmet Grape Tomatoes
- 1 x Spent Goods' par-baked baguette
- 5 sprigs fresh Mike & Mike's organic thyme
- 1 x Mike & Mike's organic lemon
- 1 tbsp Vancouver Island Sea Salt
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
In a baking dish, drizzle half your olive oil on the base of the pan and add your cheese wedge and surround it with your grape tomatoes. Drizzle some more olive oil over top of the cheese and then add half of your Buzz Hot Honey over the top of the cheese wedge.
Take out one of your par-baked Spent Goods baguette and place it directly on the oven rack. Place your dish with your cheese and tomatoes in the oven beside the baguette and bake for 8 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven place on a cutting board to cool slightly before slicing. Then, remove your cheese and tomatoes from the oven.
Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the baked tomatoes and put them in a small bowl. Add some freshly grated lemon zest, a little squeeze of juice, a sprinkle of sea salt and some chopped fresh thyme to the tomatoes and carefully stir to combine. Set aside.
Move your oven rack to the top rack of the oven and turn your broiler on high. Drizzle another tablespoon of Buzz Hot Honey over the top of the cheese wedge. Once the broiler is heated, about a minute, return your baking dish to the oven directly under the broiler on the top rack.
Set a timer for 4 minutes and keep a close eye on the cheese as it broils. You want to get a nice caramelization on the surface of cheese and the honey glaze you added will help with this. Remove from the broiler once the surface of the cheese gets a nice golden brown colour - this may take less than 4 minutes depending on your oven so keep an eye on your cheese!
Allow your cheese to cool for about a minute before removing from the pan. Carefully transfer your baked cheese to a plate using a spatula and surround it with your baked tomatoes. Drizzle a little more hot honey over the surface of the cheese.
Slice your fresh baked baguette and enjoy by building your own crostini with a little bit of cheese, tomatoes and hot honey!