Happy September! It’s hard to believe that it’s already the first of the month. It basically feels like it’s still March and it’s just been March over and over again since the COVID19 pandemic hit. And yet, today was the first day in quite a while where the sunrise didn’t blind me as the sun’s rays came through the window. In fact, there were no sun rays today — it was cloudy and even drizzled lightly here in Austin. A welcome relief after weeks of high 90s and into the 100’s!
Even though the stores are strewn with Halloween decorations and the café’s have updated their menus to accommodate pumpkin flavors, I can’t remember a time when Labor Day was ever cold…or even cool for that matter. (I’m speaking from my experiences as a Californian). Today’s recipe is a final hoorah to the summer season, as we (albeit it slowly) transition from summer to fall. It’s an easy sheet-pan vegetarian dish bursting with grape tomatoes, crunchy broccolini (or broccoli), red onion, fresh lemon wedges, and of course, tangy feta. Baked feta is my go-to when asked to bring an appetizer. This is what I bring: Baked Feta & Olives.
Today’s recipe though is something I would make as a side dish. It’d be great served with a protein, at a BBQ, or alongside a pasta. And while it’s bursting with summer flavors, you can easily adapt this as we head into Fall and Winter by incorporating squash, potatoes, and seasonal herbs.
A little note when making this. The first time I made this I cut the cubes of feta very large (as you can see photographed). The feta tends to dry out during the baking if it’s cut this way so you’re better off slicing the pieces into strips rather than chunks.
Roasted Vegetables & Feta
Roasted vegetables and feta make the perfect vegetarian side-dish at a summer BBQ or in the middle of winter by the crackling fire. This recipe is easy because everything gets baked together on a single sheet-pan. Beautiful, simple, and wholesome.
- 1 Bunch Broccolini, ends trimmed & stalks halved if thick (Broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces work too)
- 1 Pint Grape tomatoes, halved (~2 cups)
- 1 small Red onion, quartered and cut into 2-inch wedges
- 1 Lemon, 1/2 cut into slices and the other half intact for serving
- 3 tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 tsp. Ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes
- Big Pinch Salt
- Big Pinch Pepper
- 2 6-8 oz. Blocks of feta (cut into 1-inch slices (much thinner than in my photo))
- 1/2 cup Fresh basil (or other fresh herbs)
Position the oven rack to the lower third. Heat the oven to 400F degrees.
On a cookie sheet, place the broccolini, tomatoes, onion, and lemon. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle the cumin, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper and toss again. Place the feta pieces amongst the vegetables.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetable stems can be pierced easily with a fork and the tomatoes are wrinkled.
Drizzle with extra olive oil and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Place extra lemon on the side. Optionally serve with pasta or grains.
*Note: Slice the feta thinner than my photo indicates to prevent it from drying out.
Recipe from New York Times.