David Tamarkin's Baked Feta with Chickpeas and Greens
About 30 minutes
I was dubious when food editor Chris Morocco said he wanted to develop a weeknight dinner recipe for Epicurious featuring thick slabs of feta as the main protein. Even when I saw it—an irresistible skillet full of chickpeas, greens, feta, and lemony yogurt—I shook my head and wrote it off as an appetizer at best. But that recipe has become one of the most-loved on the site, and I’m one of its devotees. Such a devotee that I riffed on it, cutting the yogurt and adding a jammy tomato sauce in its place.
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
1 large or 2 small bunches kale (about 8 ounces total), stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces, washed, and shaken dry (there should be a little water still clinging to the leaves)
3 cups Simple Tomato Sauce (click here for the recipe)
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus additional wedges for serving
1 (12-ounce) block feta, cut into ½-inch- thick slices
Freshly ground black pepper
Warm pitas or crusty baguette slices, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Heat a 14-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil’s hot, add the cumin seeds (if you’re using them) and let them sizzle gently for a minute or two. Add the kale in batches, letting each handful shrink and wilt before adding the next.
3. When the last of the kale has wilted, add the tomato sauce, chickpeas, lemon juice, and ½ cup water. Give everything a stir and let it come to a simmer. Taste the sauce for salt and add a little if needed. (Whether it needs it will depend on how salty your tomato sauce is, but keep in mind that the feta is salty, too.)
4. Nestle the feta slices into the sauce and give them a few good grinds of black pepper. Slide the skillet into the oven and bake until the feta has softened, about 15 minutes. Drizzle a little olive oil over the whole thing and serve with warm bread and lemon wedges.
Excerpted from COOK90 Copyright © 2018 by David Tamarkin, photographs by Chelsea Kyle. Used with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York. All rights reserved.