- The idea for this baked feta was first given to me by the partner of the master cheese maker at Thorvald ewes milk cheeses. He baked it with honey in a parcel on the BBQ. I wanted a low carb option that can be made in the oven, the pairing of orange zest, olive oil and fresh rosemary with the ewes milk feta is fantastic. Add to this the earthy roasted beetroot, the nutty walnuts and the spicy arugula and you have a winner. You don’t have to use ewes milk feta for this yummy salad but do use a firm feta that is not too salty.Ingredients.
- 2 large beetroot.
- a large bunch of arugula or rocket.
- a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.
- 1 orange.
- 75ml of good olive oil.
- 200gms of firm feta, I am using Thorvald ewes milk feta.
- 1/2 cup of fresh walnuts, mine are local from Nelson and shucked to order. I keep my walnuts in the freezer as they oxidise quickly.
Peel and chop the beetroot into 1 -2 cm chunks and add to a small roasting pan with a tablespoon of the olive oil and cover tightly with foil. Roast at 180c fan for 1.5 hours.
Cut the soft tips of the rosemary and save for the dressing, de stem the rest of the rosemary and zest the orange.
Cut a square piece of baking paper as long as the roll is wide, smear the middle with 1 teaspoon of of the olive oil some of the rosemary and orange zest then place the feta on top, add the rest of the orange zest and rosemary to surround the feta and spoon on another teaspoon of the olive oil.
Fold the paper over the feta to make a parcel, tie it with string. Dont use plastic or nylon string as it will melt in the oven, use proper string, also it looks cool and professional.So now you will have a nice parcel all tied up and ready to go in the oven. This needs about 15 minutes in the oven so when the beetroot has 15 minutes left pop the feta on a tray into the oven. The walnuts need ten minutes in the oven at 180c fan so pop those in the oven at some point during the beetroot roast.
While the feta is baking prepare the dressing, juice the orange, and finely chop the reserved rosemary tips, add these along with the rest of the olive oil to a bowl and whisk to combine, add a little salt to taste.
Remove the beetroot from the oven when it has had its 1.5 hours, it should be soft and succulent but not shrivelled.
Plate up by spreading the arugula on a serving platter followed by the roasted beetroot and then the roasted walnuts. Add the feta parcel, open it at the table if you want drama.
Or slide it off the bake paper onto the salad and drizzle everything with the dressing.The warm feta is so very delicious you will wonder how you ever ate feta cold before.