”Salty feta becomes even more of a flavour sensation when baked with honey. Their sweetness and saltiness are joyous together. So good when spread on toast, and then finished with a few slices of quick-pickled rhubarb for a hit of intensity. Superb for lunch or as part of a sharing feast of dishes, maybe with a few leaves on the side.“ So writes my friend and colleague Angela Clutton in her introduction to this recipe. Two years ago she was here in Orkney, spending a few days with us researching for her hugely successful debut cookbook The Vinegar Cupboard and visiting Sam at Orkney Craft Vinegar. I went along too for a fascinating morning. This is cheese on toast with a delicious difference.
Print the recipe here.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
• 1 rhubarb stalk
• 60ml red wine vinegar
• 40g light brown sugar
• 1 tsp fine salt
• 1/4 tsp black peppercorns
• 1/4 tsp yellow mustard seeds
• 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
• 200g pack of feta
• 11/2 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 2 thyme sprigs
• 4 slices sourdough
• 1 tsp sumac
1. Slice the rhubarb thinly on the diagonal and put into a bowl. Put the vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds and cinnamon stick in saucepan with 60ml water. Heat gently just until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour everything over the rhubarb and set aside while you get on with the rest of the dish.
2. Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut a large piece of kitchen foil and then sit on top of that a piece of baking paper the same size. Place the block of feta on top, drizzle over the honey, the olive oil and place the thyme sprigs on. Wrap up the foil / paper to form a parcel. Bake for 15 mins, then remove from the oven and turn the grill on. Unwrap the feta and grill for 3-5 mins until golden.
3. Toast the sourdough. Spread the baked feta on the toast, spoon over some of the honey baking juices, top with slices of quick-pickled rhubarb, sprinkle over a little sumac and serve.
Recipe for Borough Market demo kitchen – May 2019
Every cookery writer’s nightmare – what will people change?
• I had to use black mustard seeds instead of yellow. I also had to use dried thyme instead of fresh.
• I added an extra drizzle of honey over the rhubarb as I felt the Orkney rhubarb (with its own salty tang!) needed it!
• I put the foil parcel of cheese on an enamel plate to make it easier to remove from the oven and unwrap before grilling. A baking sheet would do the trick too.
• The leftover cheese and rhubarb are going into a Spanish omelette tomorrow as we also have some cold potatoes.