Potatoes. Oregano. Feta. Lemon. HELL YEAH. I picked up almost all of this from Trader Joe’s for under $10, and most of the rest of it I already had in my pantry. Good, cheap, filling side dish. And made of noms.

Crispy Oregano Smashed Potatoes with Feta and Lemon
Makes enough for 2 with leftovers, even more so for 1

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs mixed baby potatoes (I went with red, honestly)
  • 2 meyer lemons, quartered (original recommends half a lemon, it can do with more)
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 6 cloves minimum garlic, minced (original recommends 2 max. come on.)
  • .25 c dried oregano (original recommends fresh, I used my dried leaves, and it still packs a good punch)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 T grated parmesan cheese (I used parmigianno reggiano from TJ’s that I had on hand)
  • 6 oz feta crumbles (I just went with the max on this, also skipped fresh basil)

Preheat your oven to 425. On a large baking sheet, toss together 1 T olive oil, the lemons, potatoes, and a pinch of sea salt.

Original recipe recommends roasting for 20 minutes, but depending on the size of your potatoes, this can take up to 35 minutes. Be sure to remove the lemons after the 20 minutes, though, and let them rest. Check on the potatoes every ten minutes after twenty minutes, and see which are tender enough to stick a fork into. If they’re ready, use the back of the fork to smash to about a quarter-inch thickness (see pic 3), and let the smashed potatoes roast with the ones that aren’t quite ready yet.

In the time between checking on your potatoes, combine your minced garlic, 2 T olive oil, and oregano in a small bowl (see pic 2). Once your potatoes are all smashed, spoon the mixture over them (pic 5), and then sprinkle sea salt and fresh ground pepper and your parmesan over them, and roast another 20-25 minutes, until they’re golden and crisp (pic 7).

While they roast, finely chop your lemon, peel and all (pic 4), and add to a small bowl with the remaining 1 T olive oil and a pinch of salt (pic 6).

Once you remove the potatoes from the oven, put them in a large bowl and toss them with the roasted lemon dressing and feta (pic 8), and enjoy!

I want to start this recipe with a disclaimer. Tieghan makes amazing recipes. A lot of her stuff is in my arsenal, or on my to-try list. HOWEVER. I usually end up cutting out upwards of three or four ingredients of hers per recipe, because as nice as those things are, they’re there more for garnish, and don’t really add anything to the dish. Here, I cut… three things, but we’ve still got a damn amazing recipe here. 

The most expensive things you will likely have to get are the cherry tomatoes and the feta, but the rest you likely either have in your pantry/fridge, or can find them nearby for reasonable prices. You can still make this for a pretty reasonable price, and it makes enough for you to have leftovers and then some. 

Twenty Minute Mediterranean Hummus Noodles with Blistered Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 6 baby bell peppers (I used about half of what the original recipe recommends, found them cheap at my local grocery, look for sweet snacking peppers)
  • pinch sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • .75 lb thin spaghetti, or your personal preferred thin pasta (I went angel hair here)
  • .75 c of your favorite hummus (roasted garlic, here)
  • 1 c pasta cooking water (drain this off right before you’re done!)
  • 1 c fresh basil (I tore it, Tieghan isn’t really clear on if it needs to be chopped, diced, left whole, etc)
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • .25 c kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 T oregano, chopped
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 4 oz feta crumbles

Take a pot of water, salt it, and bring it to a boil.  While the pot warms up and begins to boil, take a large grill pan, pour 2 T olive oil in, and heat over high heat. Once heated, add the cherry tomatoes, baby bell peppers, and a pinch of sea salt and pepper, and grill until the cherries begin to wrinkle and grill marks appear on the peppers, flipping from side to side. The difference between pictures one to three here is about 10 minutes’ time, and pic 3 is what it should look like at the end of that time. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.

Once the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to instructions, until al dente. Right as it finishes, scoop off one cup of the water the pasta’s cooked in, and add it to a medium sized bowl. Then drain the pasta, and let it sit a minute while you get the next part ready. 

To the pasta cooking water, add the hummus, fresh basil, and red pepper flakes, and whisk together until you’ve got a thin sauce (see pic five). Let it sit a bit to thicken. Then, take your pasta, and toss it to coat with the sauce. 

Take 1 c of your blistered cherry tomatoes, put them in a small bowl, and smash them lightly with a fork, so that the juices are released. Stir in the oregano, chopped kalamatas, remaining 2 T olive oil, a bit of sea salt and pepper to taste, and balsamic, and toss to combine. 

When ready to eat, take the sauced pasta, add the tomato-olive mix, a few blistered tomatoes and peppers, and feta, and toss to combine, and then enjoy the amazingness!

Looking for something quick, cheap, simple, and full of cheesy carby goodness? Behold, this beauty. Literally, all this is is canned biscuit dough, gorgonzola, feta, melted butter, and a bit of oregano, thrown in the oven for a half hour. But the cheesy carbiness is just from the angels. Just trust me on this.

Blue Cheese Feta Biscuit Thingy

Ingredients

  • 1 can biscuit dough (1 used 16 oz generic)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 4 oz gorgonzola crumbles
  • 2ish oz feta crumbles
  • Greek oregano 

Preheat your oven to 375. Take your biscuits, and cut them into quarters, putting them in a 12″ round cake pan. Take your melted butter, and toss the biscuits with it. Sprinkle the gorgonzola and feta and Greek oregano over the top, and bake for about a half hour, until the tops are golden brown and the cheese is good and bubbly. 

Shakshuka is something I never thought would go well in sandwich form. Yet, here we are, and Ive got enough for breakfast for at least a week or so.

Adding bell peppers heartens up the shakshuka even more, and it turns out that the pita is really good at holding the shakshuka and not making it too messy. I didn’t have za’atar on me, so I ended up mixing ground oregano, marjoram, sumac, and cumin (didn’t have any toasted sesame seeds, just raw); I should probably either buy or make it soon, because I definitely liked the flavor. 

Three Pepper Shakshuka Pitas With Feta and Za’atar

Ingredients

  • 3 T olive oil
  • half a small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, then minced
  • 2 to 3 bell peppers, cored and sliced thin (use any colors you like)
  • jalapeño, cored and sliced thin
  • .5 t cumin
  • 1 t smoked paprika (I used Spanish)
  • .25 t salt
  • 1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes (recipe recommends fire roasted if you can find them, I went with plain as they’re pretty expensive around here)
  • 6 eggs
  • .5 c crumbled feta
  • za’atar to taste (if you don’t have it, mix oregano, marjoram, sumac, cumin, and toasted sesame seeds)
  • pitas

Heat your olive oil in a large pan over medium high. Once warmed, add your onion and cook until it softens, about five minutes, followed by the crushed, minced garlic, and cook for another minute. Add your bell peppers and jalapeño and saute until they soften, about another five minutes, followed by the cumin, paprika, and salt, cooking for an additional minute.  Then, pour in your can of crushed tomatoes, along with half a can or so of water, and bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium low and let simmer for about fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally and tasting to adjust the seasonings.

After fifteen minutes, make six shallow indentations in the sauce and crack your eggs into them. Cover and simmer for between 3 to 6 minutes depending on how you want your eggs; 3 to 4 minutes gets set whites and loose yolks, 5 to 6 for firmer yolks. Remove the cover and sprinkle with feta and za’atar.

If you’re going to eat these right away, warm your pitas, open them up, and scoop an egg and the surrounding sauce into the pita. If you want more garnish, add more feta and za’atar. 

If, however, you’re like me and you’re taking these to work, put the sauce into a container.  The morning that you’re going to eat them, put an egg and sauce in the pita, and reheat (either by warming up the sauce and pitas separately, or doing what I do and just tossing the thing in a microwave). 

venneh:

This was a quick little experiment that I did, as I had some leftover feta, and a desire to try it marinated. So, I cut it up into cubes, put in some cumin, coriander, oregano, marjoram, and crushed red pepper in the layers of cubes, and poured the olive oil over it. The result was quite tasty, especially with the roasted olives.

I haven’t made this in a while, and frankly, one of my friends on Facebook making it again as I was making my shopping list definitely inspired this.  The meal itself is also pretty cheap, as all you need is a large can of whole tomatoes, half a dozen eggs, jalapenos and garlic, and a few spices.  

Shakshuka
Lasts 3.5 lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • .25 c olive oil
  • 3 jalapenos, chopped fine
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 8 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes (do not drain)
  • .5 c water
  • salt
  • 6 eggs
  • .5 c feta cheese
  • Naan, to serve (I bought garlic naan because I didn’t want to make it from scratch, lol)

Heat your olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet, adding your jalapenos and onion and cooking until soft and golden brown (about five minutes).  I accidentally didn’t add the onion until I added the spices, as you see.  Whoops.  Add your garlic, paprika, and cumin, and cook, stirring frequently until the garlic gets soft (about another two minutes).

Take your can of tomatoes and in a medium bowl, hand crush them.  Add the crushed tomatoes and the half cup of water to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer, stirring here and there, until the sauce has thickened slightly (about fifteen minutes).  Season with salt (whoops, forgot this too).

Crack the eggs over the sauce and cover, cooking the eggs just until the yolks set (about five minutes). Once the yolks are set, take a spoon and cover the whites in tomato sauce, making sure not to disturb the yolks. Sprinkle the feta over the shakshuka, and have a plate of warm naan on hand to dip in the sauce!

I tried this recipe almost immediately after Deb posted it on the Smitten Kitchen last year, and ever since then, it’s been a mainstay.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a grill on you – the oven works perfectly for this. And man, the simple perfection of warm, melty cheese and roasted tomatoes and olives cannot be overstated.  

Mediterranean Baked Feta
Lasts 4 lunches as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • .33 c pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (forgot this this time, whoops)
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 block feta (you want a good sized block, this was closer to 16 oz, at minimum you want 8 to 10 oz)

Half your tomatoes, chop your olives, and then mix everything except your feta block in a small bowl, tossing so that the olive oil coats everything.

Preheat your oven to 400 (mine was at 375). Put your block of feta in a baking dish, and then pour the tomato-olive-oregano mix over the feta.  Cover your dish, and cook for fifteen minutes – your cheese will get soft and warm, but not quite melty.  

Don’t worry if you can’t eat it all right away (though you will be tempted to) – this reheats easily, especially in the oven.

This is one of my favorite recipes, especially as we’re getting closer to fall and everything gets cooler.  Tomato soup is an awesome thing, but make it from scratch, and add basil and feta, and it gets even better.  (It also helps that tomatoes were $1/lb at the farmer’s market.)

There’s a really easy way to peel and deseed your tomatoes that I mentioned in the mizra ghasemi recipe, but I’ll be detailing it again here.  The recipe recommends about six tomatoes, but you can go over or under depending on their size; I did five, and they were pretty big ones.

Tomato, Basil, and Feta Soup
Lasts 5+ lunches as a main

Ingredients

  • .25 c olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • dash salt
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled, cored, deseeded, and chopped small
  • 3 c chicken stock
  • 1 c feta crumbles
  • .5 c fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 c tomato sauce (appx 1 15 oz can)
  • dash pepper

To peel and deseed your tomatoes, cut small xes on the bottoms, and get two pots of water going.  Set one to boil, and fill the other with ice water. Once your water’s boiling, stick your tomatoes in for a minute, and then put them in the cold water.  The tomatoes will peel themselves pretty quickly after that (and if not, the skins will come off pretty easily).  Once your tomatoes are peeled, core them, half them, and squeeze; the seeds will come right out. Chop them up, and put them aside for later.

Meanwhile, use the pot you had the boiling water in (empty it out, obviously), and heat your olive oil over medium high heat. Chop your onion, and as soon as your olive oil’s heated, add the onion to the pot and sautee until transparent.  Then add your bay leaf, garlic cloves, and salt, and cook for another two minutes. Add your tomatoes and chicken stock, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for about twenty minutes (mine went a bit longer as I was prepping another recipe while this was cooking).

After twenty minutes, blend in batches, until you’ve got your desired smoothness – I started on low puree, and then went to high. Be sure to do small batches, or the soup may go all over the kitchen, and trust me, hot soup flying all over is not what you want.  Also, remove your bay leaf – I didn’t, whoops.  Return the soup to the pot and add the tomato sauce, feta, torn basil leaves (I just took a bunch off what I bought at the farmer’s market that morning and tore them, it was probably more than a half a cup) and pepper.

This soup is one of my fall mainstays, especially when the veggies in it come into season.  That massive eggplant only cost me a buck twenty five at the farmer’s market, and the tomatoes were two bucks, tops. Good veggies + roasting = amazing results, especially in a soup.  I did the spicier riff that Deb recommends at the end of the recipe, and substituted the feta for the goat cheese, and the results are absolutely amazing.

Roasted Eggplant Soup
Lasts 5+ lunches

Ingredients

  • 3 medium tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large eggplant, halved
  • 10 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • enough olive oil to drizzle on all of the above
  • 4 c vegetable stock (get a 32 oz box of stock, there will be enough)
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • one large dash coriander, cumin
  • some red pepper flakes
  • accidentally a bit of spanish paprika
  • 1 onion, halved
  • .25 c heavy whipping cream
  • .75 c (3.5 oz) feta crumbles

Preheat your oven to 400 (375 if it runs hot), and place your eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic on a lined baking sheet, and drizzle olive oil over all, until they’re reasonably covered (see pic one for what I did).  Place in the oven for 20 mins, and then remove your garlic cloves (they’ll burn otherwise) and put the tomatoes and eggplant in for another 25 minutes.  Your tomatoes and eggplant should look like picture 2 by the end of the 45 minutes.  Scoop the eggplant flesh out of the skin, and put in a saucepan with your tomatoes and garlic, and add the vegetable stock, spices, and onion.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and simmer for another 45 minutes, until your onion halves are very tender.

Blend the soup in batches (because trust me, you don’t want hot stock and veggie bits all over your kitchen, that’s happened to me trying to do that) until it’s smooth, and then add it back to the pot.  Add your cream and bring it back to a low simmer before stirring in your feta.

Please note that the spices in this were pure guesswork, and feel free to use your own variations – the original recipe does not include the cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, or the paprika, and doesn’t use the cream and substitutes goat cheese crumbles for feta.  I just like the resulting soup and texture way better this way.  😛

Summer means that it’s a great time for dishes that feature fresh tomatoes, and seafood.  So, why not combine all of these with some awesome cheese?  Why not, indeed.

Roasted Tomatoes with Shrimp and Feta
Lasts appx 4 meals

Ingredients

  • 5 large tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T olive oil
  • dash salt and pepper
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined and peeled (the package I got came that way, except for the tails)
  • 4 oz crumbled feta
  • 2 T lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 450 (mine was at 425 due to its tendency to run hot), and put your tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper in your baking dish.  Toss, put the cover on, and put in the oven for 20 mins.  Then, remove from the oven, and add the shrimp, feta, and lemon juice, and toss.  Put back in the oven for another 12 mins or so, until the shrimp is fully cooked).

Eat with some crusty bread to soak up the extra juices.  😉