Monday, March 12, 2012

A Nice Change Appetizer

I was hosting Euchre Night and really felt like serving something new. I had a taste for Mediterranean flavors (I couldn't shake my mood for lemon and olives) and I remember seeing a recipe by Alicia of Bella Cucina in a magazine. 
Her recipe used a jar of Bella Cucina olives (a blend of olives, citrus and olive oil) warmed and served over feta cheese.

I bought several types of canned and jarred olives (plus one package of sun-dried Greek olives that are dried on the tree!) drained and warmed them in a sauce pan with good quality olive oil, strips of fresh lemon peel, whole fennel seeds, and hot pepper flakes.
I put about a cup of this olive mixture with some of the flavored oil (but not too much) over the slices of feta and baked it in the oven until the cheese was soft. I served it with crackers and it was a hit.

Did you notice my shell-topped toothpicks? Those were for my "maybe I'll have just an olive" guests. Nothing like reaching in and spearing a lemon-scented olive.

You'll notice that I also served a bowl of cubed watermelon. I love the taste of feta and watermelon together as a salad, so I thought having it available to snack on would round out the appetizers.

It was a great night and I've found a new savory appetizer. Plus I still have half of a large snap lid jar of the olives, lemon, oil mixture to use in the next 2 weeks.   Since I'm enjoying it so much, I also want to strain off the flavored oil to make a salad dressing.  The good ideas just keep coming. 

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