Bouyourdi: Grilled Feta, Tomato, and Pepper

Bouyourdi hardly needs a recipe.  One or two slices of good tomato, a lavish slice of Feta cheese and pieces of bell and hot pepper are doused with olive oil, generously sprinkled with oregano and grilled in a very hot oven. Bouyourdi is brought to the table directly in its baking dish, often individual clay pots, and enjoyed with plenty of fresh crusty bread to sop-up the scrumptious oil. Although served as a meze in Greece, it can also be a wonderful breakfast or brunch dish for the whole family …Read more.

 

This very simple, absolutely irresistible meze is a somewhat recent addition to the summer menu of Greek taverns. It probably has its roots in the fried or grilled peppers with batzos – a quite pungent, semi-hard cheese from Thessaly and Macedonia. The irresistible meze was probably first served in Thessaloniki taverns and the surrounding areas, and was eventually adopted by home and restaurant cooks all over Greece.

 

 

Serves 4

 

1 large, vine-ripened tomato

 

4 slices Feta cheese (about 2/3 pound total)

 

1 medium green bell pepper, sliced into thin rings

 

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped or a few pinches Maraş pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

 

About 1/2 cup good olive oil

 

1 tablespoon Greek oregano or more, to taste

 

Thick slices of fresh, crusty bread

 

 

Preheat the oven to 430˚F (220 C).

 

Spread a double layer of kitchen paper on a large dish. Core the tomato carefully, slice horizontally into 5-6 pieces and spread them on the paper to drain.

 

Oil a shallow 8 or 9-inch baking dish, or 4 individual ramekins, and spread the tomato slices at the bottom, reserving 4 nice slices for the top. Sprinkle with some jalapeno and bell pepper slices. Arrange the feta pieces on top, place one tomato slice on each piece of cheese and finally 2 or 3 bell pepper rings on the tomato.

 

Drizzle liberally with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano and the rest of the jalapeno and transfer to the middle of the oven.

 

Bake for 15 minutes or more, until the feta turns a light golden color and the oil is sizzling. Serve immediately with warm bread. 

 

 

 

 

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