Feta: Fried in Phyllo or Grilled with Tomatoes and Peppers

Besides flavoring the iconic summer tomato salad, served as toping for crunchy barley rusks, or accompanying a myriad of vegetable dishes, here are two irresistible, yet simple appetizers with feta.

You can whip them up in minutes.

 

Feta in Phyllo

I first had this feta package in Eumelia, the Organic Agrotourism Farm in southern Peloponnese. Marilena, the owner, cook, and instructor, served us a large, home-rolled phyllo and feta package, which as she explained, she prepares in advance, freezes, and then briefly fries in hot olive oil whenever she needs to present a quick snack or meze. Her twist on the common phyllo triangles served at most taverns is that the thin slices of feta inside the frozen package are adequately heated through as the package is fried, becoming particularly delicious. The soft cheese does not disintegrate inside the crunchy phyllo, as in the most common versions of this appetizer. Uri Eshet at Kea Retreat serves the packages with sliced figs, and you can pair them with various fresh fruit and or fruit preserves.

Drizzled with honey or any syrup, and sprinkled with sesame seeds or nigella, I bet that this very easy, convenient, and amazing morsel, whipped up with commercial phyllo, will become your next favorite appetizer.  

 

Bouyourdi

This 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 taverns in Thessaloniki and the surrounding areas, and was eventually adopted by home and restaurant cooks all over Greece.

The name of the dish is itself significant in its insignificance – it really means nothing and has no relation to the meze or its ingredients. Bouyourdi – from the Turkish buyrultu (petition or written order) – is a word that has been incorporated into our vernacular since Ottoman times and has a quite unpleasant ring, mostly used in expressions like ‘I got the tax bouyourdi,’ implying that one must pay lots of taxes.

But this bouyourdi has nothing to do wuth taxes, and everyone loves to place and receive this meze order!

 

RECIPES:

Feta Fried in Phyllo Packages     

Bouyourdi: Roasted Feta with Tomato and Peppers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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