Phyllo-Wrapped Feta with Cumin, Poppy, or Caraway Seeds and Honey
The salty, briny flavor of feta goes surprisingly well with honey, a combination that contemporary Greek chefs have been experimenting with for about the last decade. This recipe is a variation on several cheese-based specialties that are traditional Greek mezedes.
One of those specialties is saganaki, its most common iteration the pan-fried cheese that is a traditional and popular Greek dish; the other is baked cheese, either crumbled and baked in a small pan, or wrapped in parchment paper or phyllo, sometimes seasoned with herbs, spices, or vegetables. Melting cheese, wrapped in phyllo or not and regardless of the additions, is always a welcome dish on my Greek table!
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin Greek olive oil plus more for greasing
- 2 sheets #7 commercial phyllo
- 2 4-inch / 10 cm square pieces Greek feta, each about ½ inch (1.5 cm) thick
- ½ to ¾ cup 145 to 215 g caraway, cumin, or poppy seeds we made it with poppy seeds
- 1 egg white lightly beaten
- ½ cup 120 ml Greek honey
- 1 small fresh or dried chile seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon strained fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly oil a small baking dish large enough to hold the two squares of feta.
- Take the first phyllo sheet and place it horizontally in front of you on a clean work surface. Brush the phyllo lightly with some of the olive oil. Place a feta square in the middle. Fold in the sides, brushing each unoiled surface of the phyllo with a little of the olive oil and pressing lightly to seal. Repeat with the second phyllo sheet and feta square.
- Spread the caraway seeds over a large flat plate. Lightly brush the top of each phyllo-wrapped feta square with a little of the egg white and dip the egg washed side into the caraway seeds. Place the feta square seed-side up on the prepared baking dish. Repeat to coat the top of the second feta square.
- Bake the feta for about 20 minutes, or until the phyllo is puffed and golden.
- While the feta is baking, whisk together the honey, chile, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Remove the feta squares from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Cut into four triangles and serve, drizzled with the spiced honey.