See Irini Tzortzoglou:
Pan fried Feta Saganaki in sliced bread with a strawberry and rocket salad with small pickles and elderflowers.
Serves 4 as a starter
For the Saganaki
200g Greek Feta cheese
8 slices of wholemeal bread
1 tsp dried thyme or oregano
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp crushed pink peppercorns or chilli flakes.
200ml extra virgin olive oil for frying (or vegetable oil)
For the strawberry salad
200g Berry Gardens Katrina strawberries
A handful of rocket leaves
3 tbsp verjuice, white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp elderflower cordial or grape molasses or honey
30ml extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cornichons finely sliced, 6 green pitted olives finely sliced or any other little pickles you may have to add some acidity and extra flavour. Add a few elderflowers or other edible flowers for prettiness
Start by cutting 4 of the larger strawberries in slices of around 3-4 mm. Wipe a griddle plan with a piece of kitchen paper dipped in a little oil and bring it to a high heat. You just want to slightly caramelise the strawberries by scorching them, not cook them.
Cut the remaining strawberries in quarters and reserve till serving.
Next, cut the feta in two slices horizontally and again in the middle to get four good size pieces.
Place one slice of bread on a board and put one piece of feta in its middle. Sprinkle with some thyme and place the second slice on top of the first. Use a square cutter or pressing down slightly, use a bread knife to cut a square around the feta allowing 1 cm extra bread all around. Repeat with the remaining slices of feta.
Beat the egg in a bowl with a little salt and some black pepper.
In another bowl, mix the panko crumbs with the crushed pink pepper or chilli flakes.
Bring a frying pan onto high heat.
Dip the feta bread first into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs and make sure it is completely covered all round. Fry the feta bread first on one side till golden and then the other. Remove with a slotted spatula and drain on kitchen paper. It is best to fry the feta breads one at a time.
Make the dressing by whisking the verjuice with the oil, adding the oil a drop at a time to start with while whisking continuously. Finally add the elderflower cordial and season with salt and pepper.
Cut each feta bread into two triangles and place on a plate. Arrange the strawberry slices next to it adding the rocket leaves and any small pickles or anything else you are using to add flavour to your salad. Drizzle with some dressing, add elderflowers or other edible flowers for colour and serve.
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