Recipe Detail

Whit's Baked Feta Dip with Cherry Tomatoes

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Number of Servings:


  1. 1 blocks - feta cheese (5 to 8 ounces)
  2. 4 - medium cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  3. 2 cups - cherry tomatoes
  4. 1/3 cups - Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise and pitted (optional)
  5. 2 tablespoons - extra virgin olive oil
  6. - pinch of red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)
  7. - salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  8. 2 tablespoons - thinly sliced fresh basil
  9. - crostini or baked pita wedges or crackers, for serving with


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Place the feta in the center of a two-quart baking dish. Place the garlic, tomatoes, and optional olives around the feta, in that order. Then drizzle the olive oil all over the mixture. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, if using, and several twists of pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes on a rack in the upper third of the oven, then place the dish on a heat-safe surface.
Gently stir the tomatoes around in the feta and tuck the garlic cloves back down to the bottom of the dish.
Return the dish to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, until the tomatoes are juicy and shriveling and the feta is turning somewhat golden.

Remove the dish from the oven. Carefully use a fork to find each of the four garlic cloves and smash each one against the side of the pan. Gently swirl the feta and tomatoes together—just enough to evenly distribute the ingredients.

Taste, and add a pinch salt if desired (the dish is usually plenty salty for me when made with olives, without them you may prefer a bit of additional salt).

Sprinkle all over with fresh basil. Serve warm, with crostini or pita wedges on the side.

Leftovers keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 4 days. Gently reheat before serving.

Note: The key to this dish's success is using a block of feta; be sure to drain it well before using, if it was packed in water.




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