Tag: feta sandwich

Grilled Feta and Fennel Sandwich with Caper Berries

Grilled Feta and Fennel Sandwich with Caper Berries

There are two ways to deal with Christmas, some stay at home and celebrate with family and friends and others travel as far away as they can. I belong to the first group, I’m too bound by tradition and memories to let go of my annual rituals and jump into something completely new. Although it sounds exciting (and the exodus has started already around me), I’m very happy where I am, at home! I love to listen to all the plans and stories of the exotic places where some of my friends go, but I wouldn’t want to change the cold here with the warmth of a Caribbean beach. I would feel strange sitting under a palm tree in a bikini with a Piña Colada in my hand while imagining everyone else having roast duck and warm eggnog under the Christmas tree. I never tried, as I was always worried that it would make me nostalgic at one point and that is the only thing I don’t want to happen on that day.

So this year, many of my friends are off to India for some reason and I caught myself in a quiet moment thinking of our summer holiday. The first memory that came into my mind was about food (as always). I had to think of our quick salads, tomatoes and greens tossed together with olive oil, capers and Gbejna, the wonderful Maltese goat cheese. I felt a bit melancholic so I might as well live it out in a sandwich, and here it is: a sesame sandwich with grilled feta, crunchy fennel, tomato, parsley, chili peppers and caper berries. It’s not summer, the vegetables aren’t really in season (and not at their aromatic peak either) but I just felt like it and it was good! The grilled cheese covered up some of the missing flavours of ripeness but we enjoyed every bite!

Grilled Feta and Fennel Sandwich with Caper Berries

 

Grilled Feta and Fennel Sandwich with Caper Berries

Grilled Feta and Fennel Sandwich with Caper Berries

For 4 sandwiches you need

sesame buns, cut in half, 4
feta cheese, sliced, 200g / 7 ounces
small fennel bulb, cut into very thin slices, 1
medium sized tomato, thinly sliced, 1
fresh chili pepper, cut into rings, 1
caper berries, the stem cut off, quartered, 4
fresh parsley leaves, a small handful
olive oil, for the topping
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar, for the topping

Spread 2 slices of fennel on the bottom of each bun and put the feta cheese and a slice of tomato on top. Sprinkle with chili pepper, parsley, a little olive oil and black pepper and put a quartered caper berry on top. Grill for about 3 minutes or until the cheese turns golden. Close the bun and put it under the grill for another minute. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Grilled Feta and Fennel Sandwich with Caper Berries

 

Grilled Feta and Fennel Sandwich with Caper Berries

 

Grilled Feta and Fennel Sandwich with Caper Berries

Spicy Feta, Sun-dried Tomato and Rucola Crostini

Feta, Sun-dried Tomato and Rucola Crostini

A bag of sun-dried tomatoes fell into my hands while I looked through my pantry shelves and it reminded me of the good times I had with them in summer. With Mr. Cini at his salt pans in Gozo, in my pesto that I used as a spread on a sandwich, mixed with sage and chèvre on juicy zucchini steaks or in my spaghetti with broccoli pesto – so many nice memories! I still put them on my pizza sometimes which we bake every Sunday, but recently I’ve been neglecting this salty concentrate of the summer sun, until today!

A few days ago my Maltese mother Jenny sent me a picture of my favourite snorkeling spot at Dwejra in Gozo and all the nice memories were back in my head. Our summer in Malta, the food, the sea, the hot sun, the salty smell of the air and with these feelings came the urge for a Mediterranean snack! Crunchy ciabatta bread roasted with a little olive oil under the grill, fresh rucola (arugula) leaves, a dip made of feta cheese mixed with sun-dried tomatoes topped with red hot chili peppers – and here it is, summer is back, at least for a few bites!

Feta, Sun-dried Tomato and Rucola Crostini

 

Feta, Sun-dried Tomato and Rucola Crostini

 Spicy Feta, Sun-dried Tomato and Rucola Crostini

I like to cook the sun-dried tomatoes in a little water for 1 minute to wash of excess salt.

For 6-8 crostini you need

ciabatta bread 6-8 slices
olive oil
feta cheese 200g / 7 ounces
sun-dried tomatoes 5 around 40g / 1.5 ounces
rucola (arugula) leaves a small handful
fresh red hot chili pepper, cut into thin slices, with or without seeds, 1

Sprinkle the slices of bread with a little olive oil and put them under the grill for a few minutes until golden brown and crunchy.

In a small sauce pan, bring the dried tomatoes to the boil in a little water and cook for 1 minute. Take the pot off the heat, rinse the tomatoes and dry them well between kitchen paper. Purée the feta and the dried tomatoes in a blender until well combined.

Spread some rucola leaves on the crostini and top with the tomato-feta dip and a few chili slices (to taste and according to their spiciness).

Feta, Sun-dried Tomato and Rucola Crostini

 

Feta, Sun-dried Tomato and Rucola Crostini

 

Feta, Sun-dried Tomato and Rucola Crostini