When friends host parties, I always offer to bring a dish. Because I am perennially late (and love chocolate), I tend to bring dessert. But recently, my beloved offered to bring an appetizer to a pot luck dinner. The result is this Easy Mediterranean Bruschetta Appetizer and I’m rather smitten. So for the oncoming rush of holiday parties and dinners, this may just be my new favorite contribution.
With just 7 ingredients, this Mediterranean-style appetizer takes just minutes to prepare. It features feta, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and oregano. Add parsley for color, olive oil, and freshly ground pepper for zip. Thinly slice a good quality baguette and you are done. A simple creation that travels easily and tastes deliciously homemade. You cannot beat that for a pot luck contribution.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes for the Win
In the summer, fresh tomatoes make glorious bruschetta. But as the weather cools, there are no farmers market tomatoes and the ones from the store have an industrially-bred toughness, not to mention a mealy texture and no taste. Does that mean you need to give up on tomatoes in bruschetta (or beef stew) in the winter? No way! Sun-dried tomatoes to the rescue. More concentrated than fresh, they retain a strong, tomato taste.
I prefer to buy mine dried and reconstitute them by boiling them for 10 minutes in water.
But if you cannot spare the time or do not want to fuss, buy them already reconstituted and packed in olive oil. Either way, they are a much better alternative than awful store-bought tomatoes from October through mid-late spring.
By the way, if you think this appetizer looks similar to another one of my favorites, you’re right. It’s basically a first cousin to my Basil, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Goat Cheese. If that one reminds you of Italy, this one will transport you to the Greek islands.
The Other Ingredients
Which type of feta and olives you use in this Easy Mediterranean Bruschetta Appetizer make a huge difference. I prefer tangy feta and brine-cured kalamata olives. Their strong flavors complement, but do not overwhelm, the sun-dried tomatoes. If you like milder feta and olives, by all means go with them.
Traditional bruschetta includes only one herb – basil. This version uses less-pungent parsley, along with oregano. Did you know that oregano is from the mint family and its name comes from the Greek words for mountain and joy? No wonder oregano brings such a refreshing, Mediterranean flavor to dishes.
This dish needs a while for the flavors to meld together. Even just a half hour will make an enormous difference. While you should not leave dairy out for hours unrefrigerated, like brie cheese, it benefits from being brought up to room temperature before serving.
Easy Mediterranean Bruschetta Appetizer
A 7-ingredient appetizer that takes just minutes. It stars feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes in a Mediterranean-inspired combination that you can make year round.
- 1 & 1/2 - 2 ounces reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes, chopped About 6 sun-dried tomatoes.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 ounces pitted olives, chopped Preferably kalamata or green olives.
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf (Italian) parsley, minced (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- freshly ground pepper, to taste Start with about 3 generous turns of pepper mill.
If your sun-dried tomatoes are dry (not yet reconstituted), place them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Then drain, cool, and dry them before chopping into small pieces.
Let the sun-dried tomatoes soak in the olive oil for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
Lightly toss the feta, chopped olives, minced parsley, oregano, and pepper.
Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes and the olive oil and toss again.
Let the mixture marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before tasting. Add more oregano and/or freshly ground pepper if desired.
Serve on thin slices of baguette.
I rinse and then pat dry the olives and feta to moderate their briny (salty) taste.
The creamier your feta, the more it will resemble goat cheese in texture. That makes the bruschetta more like a dip and less like bruschetta. I like it both ways.