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Ancho Tomato Baked Feta

Serves 6

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    This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain.

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    Chili choices

    Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets.

    For leftover lovers

    Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave.

    Cheezy choices

    If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.

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    Ancho Tomato Baked Feta

      Ingredients

      • 2 dried ancho chile peppers
      • 2 cups (500 mL) no-salt-added marinara or tomato sauce
      • 1 garlic, chopped
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried Italian seasoning
      • 2 tsp (10 mL) honey
      • 14 oz (400 g) block feta, sliced in half
      • 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cooked or canned chickpeas
      • 1/3 cup (80 mL) sliced black olives (optional)
      • 1/3 cup (80 mL) chopped parsley
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice

      Nutrition

      Per serving:

      • calories290
      • protein16 g
      • total fat17 g
        • sat. fat9 g
      • total carbohydrates23 g
        • sugars9 g
        • fibre6 g
      • sodium555 mg

      Directions

      01

      In bowl, place ancho chilies and cover with hot water. Let soak for 20 minutes, or until soft. Slice off stems, pour out most of the seeds, and place softened peppers in blender container along with 1/4 cup (60 mL) of the soaking water, marinara sauce, garlic, Italian seasoning, and honey; blend until smooth.

      02

      Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). In small casserole dish, place chili tomato sauce and nestle in feta, scooping some of the sauce over the cheese. Add chickpeas and olives, if using, to dish. Bake until bubbly around edges, about 25 minutes. Garnish with parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Squeeze on lemon juice.

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