One of the things I made for the potluck on Sunday was a feta tart. I discovered the tart a while back when I was flipping through the August/September issue of Saveur. This was Saveur's Greece issue, and I found myself dog-earing page after page. It didn't take me long to realize that I was dog-earing so many of the recipes because they featured feta in the ingredient list.
Feta is one of my favorite cheeses. I love its texture and its brininess. Something about salty cheese just seems perfect to me. I love just eating it by itself or in a salad with tons of tomatoes and now in this simple tart.
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, this is no ordinary tart. There's no elaborate tart crust or fancy tart pan. Making this tart is actually a little more like making a giant pancake.
You'll need a large sheet pan. The recipe calls for 18" by 13" by 1" rimmed baking pan, but I used a 12" by 17" by 1" inch pan, and it worked just fine. (I think the traditional 9" by 13" pan would be a little small though, and you might end up with too thick of a tart.)
Feta Tart, or Alevropita (adapted from Saveur, Special Issue: Greece)
1 1/4 cup flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons vodka (I used Grey Goose)
1 cup water
10 ounces feta, crumbled or cubed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cubed
Preheat oven to 500 F. (Open windows and turn on hood fan if your oven is prone to setting off smoke detectors when set higher than 400 degrees like mine is.)
Place large rimmed baking sheet in oven, and heat for 10 minutes. (Choose a pan you don't like much. Mine seems to have picked up a little browning that doesn't want to go away now.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons oil, vodka, egg, and water.
Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture, and whisk until smooth.
Remove hot pan from oven, and place on a cooling rack on the counter. Immediately brush the pan with the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. (My pan buckled, and I worried about the oil pooling up in the corners, but as soon as I poured the batter in, the pan relaxed and the oil and batter evened out.)
Pour the batter into the pan, and spread it to the edges and smooth it with a rubber spatula. (Try to spread and smooth it as evenly as possible. See that thin edge below? It got a little too crispy and a little too brown.)
Scatter the cheese and butter over the batter.
Bake, rotating after 10 minutes, until tart is golden brown and crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Let cool slightly, and then cut and serve the tart. (I slid the whole thing onto a large cutting board to make it easy to cut and avoid scratching my pan.)
This quickly earned itself a spot on my party favorites list, and I'm sure it will make an appearance at future gatherings at my house. I don't consider it a dish you want to make and transport because it's best when it's still warm.
The tart is almost like a flatbread pizza, with a nice chewy crust. I think it would be really easy to change it up a bit and top it with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, and goat cheese, for instance.
What's your go-to appetizer for a party you're hosting? What's your favorite recipe that uses feta?