A perfectly figgy welcome to fall appetizer
Figs generally have two short seasons, one in early summer and a second in late summer/early fall. The latter is my favorite time to use them as the second harvest tends to yield a sweeter fig that is perfect for baking alongside creamy feta cheese and green olives. This Baked Feta with Green Olives and Figs recipe is the perfect end of summer, welcome to fall appetizer. With only 5-minutes of prep and a quick spell in the oven, this dish can be ready in about 25-minutes from start to finish.
What kind of feta should I use?
I prefer to use Greek block feta in brine for this recipe when possible. The saltwater brine helps to ensure that the feta stays fresh and creamy and also elongates the life of the feta, which is nice if you plan to tuck it in the fridge for a few extra days before baking. If you are unable to find Greek block feta in brine, the vacuum-packed blocks are also perfectly reasonable to use in this recipe, though they may be slightly less creamy. I would avoid pre-crumbled feta for this dish, if possible, as it tends to be drier and less flavorful than block feta.
What kind of olives should I use?
The bright green Castelvetrano olive is my favorite choice for this baked feta recipe. They are firm enough to hold up well to the oven heat and lend a mild, sweet and buttery flavor to this dish that complements rather than overpowers the big flavors of the feta and figs. I usually buy them pre-pitted, only because I want to make this dish as easy as possible, however, many would argue that the best way to enjoy them is to buy them with their pits intact to preserve flavor and remove the pits yourself. Both ways are delicious, it just depends on how much work you mind exerting before you can bite into them!
If you can't find Castevatrano olives a decent substitute is green Cerignola olives, which are also firm and buttery. If neither option is to be found, this recipe works well with green Manzanilla olives, which are readily found in most grocery stores, often stuffed with red pepper. This option is much brinier and slightly bitter compared to the Castelvetrano olive, but will still be delicious in this recipe if you're having trouble finding the others.
What kind of figs should I use?
I prefer to use Black Mission figs for this baked feta recipe because their supremely sweet and syrupy flavor pairs perfectly with this salty creaminess of the feta and mild butteriness of the olives. This type of fig is easily distinguishable by their dark purple skins and vibrant pink flesh. I also appreciate that they are generally a fairly petite fig so they work really well halved in this dish to add some bite-sized bursts of sweetness.
If you cannot find Black Mission figs, Brown Turkey figs are another common variety you may come across. These figs are distinguishable by their multi-colored brown, purple, and green skins and slightly paler pink flesh. They are usually much less sweet than Black Mission figs and much larger, so if you choose to use these, a quarter slice and a supplementary drizzle of honey over the figs would not go amiss in this recipe.
What should I serve with this Baked Feta with Green Olives and Figs?
I like to serve this dish with toasted crostini or a hearty cracker; sourdough discard crackers, croccantini crackers, or water biscuits are favored because they are large enough to accommodate a fair amount of toppings and don't break easily when scooping. However, It's honestly delicious eaten on its own if you prefer to keep things completely grain-free.
WHAT TOOLS DO I NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE?
- A medium baking dish
- A cutting board
- A chef's knife or small paring knife
- A citrus peeler/zester
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
A note for special diets
This recipe for Baked Feta with Green Olives and Figs (on its own) is grain-free, gluten-free, low-carb, and vegetarian.
This Baked Feta with Green Olives and Figs recipe is the perfect welcome to fall appetizer. With 5 minutes of prep this recipe can be ready in 25 minutes.
- 8 oz Greek block feta cheese in brine, brine discarded
- 1 cup (about .4 lb) Black Mission figs, stemmed and halved
- 1 (10.6 oz) jar Castelvetrano olives, pitted
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Zest/peel of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp fresh Tarragon
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C).
- In a medium broil-safe baking dish, add the drained block of feta cheese. Arrange the olives and figs around the block of feta.
- Dress the top of the feta with olive oil, then sprinkle the lemon zest/peel, tarragon, and a few cracks of black pepper over the top.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then broil on high for an additional 5 minutes. Serve warm.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 252
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 603 mg
- Fat: 22 g
- Saturated Fat: 8 g
- Carbohydrates: 8 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 20 mg
Keywords: Baked Feta