Greek Feta, Romano Pepper and Tomato Saganaki

In Greece the term saganaki is a term used to describe a variety of small dishes made in a traditional  two-handled frying pan. The name comes from the Turkish word sahan meaning a copper dish. Very often, the term is used to describe cheese cooked this way – namely kasseri, kefalotyri, kefalograviera or another firm Greek cheese – which is briefly dipped in water before being coated in flour and fried in olive oil – you can find my recipe for that here. Traditionally saganaki dishes are placed directly on the table and eaten hot with freshly baked rustic bread and a glass of ouzo. Here I’ve upscaled it to create a central dish to share alongside several other side dishes and accompaniments.

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
x3 romano peppers, de-seeded and roughly chopped widthways
2 large plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tsp of dried wild oregano
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
200g feta cheese, crumbled
x12 black Kalamata olives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
A small handful of pistachios, roughly chopped
A few sprigs of dill, for garnishing

How I make it

Heat a large oven-proof pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and allow to heat up before adding the chopped garlic. Turn to down the heat and sauté for a couple of minutes until the garlic begins to turn golden at the edges.

Add the chopped peppers, cover and leave to gently soften for 10 minutes. Now add the fresh tomatoes and allow them to cook for a further 10 minutes. Then add the tinned tomatoes, 1 tsp of the oregano and the chilli flakes and leave to simmer for a further five minutes. Season to your taste.

Heat an oven to 180C.

Crumble the feta over the top of the tomatoes and peppers, drop in the olives, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining oregano.

Place the pan into the oven and bake for 15 minutes until feta is golden and everything is bubbling.

Remove the pan from the oven and garnish with the pistachios and dill.

Place the pan on a trivet at the centre of your table and serve immediately with a classic Greek salad, a bowl of cooling tzatziki and chunks of freshly baked crusty bread.



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