Grilled feta is prepared by cutting a thick slice of feta cheese, topping it with tomato and a slice of green pepper, dribbling olive oil and sprinkling with oregano. This is wrapped in a packet of aluminum foil and grilled for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is soft and warm. Versions of the dish can also be made in the oven or microwave.
Feta is a Greek cheese most famous for its addition to the classic Greek salad, but because of its salty creamy taste it is also used in many other dishes. Grilled feta is popular as a meze, or Greek appetizer, as is a slice of feta simply served with a little olive oil and oregano. Other mezes containing feta include small parcels of feta and spinach wrapped in filo pastry.
Unlike many other cheeses, feta does not melt when heated but rather softens while keeping its shape. Grilled feta maintains its texture and does not get stringy which makes it easy to eat. The dish can be eaten with a salad as a light lunch, as a starter or as one dish in a variety of mezes. It also makes an interesting addition to a barbecue but it should be eaten as soon as possible while it is still warm.
In 2005 the European Union ruled that feta is exclusively Greek which means that only Greece has the right to call the white cheese it produces "feta." As a Protected Designation of Origin, or PDO, product, there are specific guidelines to its manufacture. In order to qualify as feta, the cheese must contain at least 70% sheep milk and only as much as 30% goat milk and it can only be made from certain areas in Greece.
The white salty blocks of cheese are a staple in many Greek households and more feta is sold in Greece than any other cheese. It is a good source of nutrients such as calcium, protein, riboflavin, phosphorous and vitamin B12. However, it is also high in sodium and cholesterol and, as a result, people with high blood pressure would do well to limit their intake. Grilled feta and its use in other dishes or on its own should be consumed in moderation generally as, while it is lower in fat than many other cheeses, the saturated fat content is still quite high.