With holiday entertaining around the corner, I turn to Alison Roman, my go-to for simple and delicious recipes. This festive appetizer from her repertoire is easy and can be made ahead of time*. Pair it with your favorite cocktail and you are set for a cozy holiday evening.
- ½ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 small (or 1 medium) ripe tomatoes (4 to 6 ounces total), coarsely chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 8 ounces feta cheese**, sliced into 1/4-inch slabs or 1/2-inch cubes
- Crackers or toast for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, swirling the skillet occasionally, until the garlic is tender and nearly golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they’ve broken down into a thick, chunky sauce, 5-8 minutes.
- Add the harissa and continue to cook until the sauce is a bit more paste-like, another 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Add more olive oil until it becomes savory and spoonable.
- Place the feta in a serving dish or bowl and pour the tomato mixture over. Let sit at least 10 minutes, or up to a week in advance, refrigerated. Drizzle with more olive oil before serving.
- Serve with crackers or toast
*Prep-ahead tip: Feta can be marinated up to 1 week ahead, tightly wrapped and refrigerated.
**Substitution option: You can use goat cheese, ricotta salata or queso fresco instead of feta.