Evolution of an Hors D’oeuvre

The journey started in early May 2007, while on my honeymoon in Greece. We had an appetizer that surprised us by it’s depth of flavor and simplicity. I would later re-create the dish dozens of times and in many iterations. I didn’t realize the evolution of an hors d’oeuvre would be such a long journey.

Hors d'oeuvre of zucchini, feta and tomato
Grilled zucchini with olive oil and oregano soaked feta, topped with perfect roasted tomato

The beginning

A young couple in love, stroll into a casual cafe for lunch on a warm Santorini day. “BBQ Feta” was on the menu. What prey tell is BBQ Feta? We had no idea, and me having no idea what a menu item offers, pretty much guarantee’s I’m gonna order it.

What arrived was a basket of lightly grilled pita, accompanied by a foil pouch, which had been grilled. I guess BBQ means grilled in some places? We open the pouch to reveal a hot slab of feta, topped with a slice of tomato, dried oregano, and olive oil and pepper. Using a knife, we spread some on the pita and dove in. Now, one thing of note is that we had many ethereal eating experiences in Greece. The food was always amazing. This appetizer was no exception. The approachable simplicity really stuck with me. In fact, long after the vacation was over, I was still addicted to oregano and olive oil.

Making it my own

For years I’ve been making an iteration of those flavors. Feta, olive oil, oregano, tomato and sometimes pita/flatbread. Initially did a cooking class and prepared the dish straight up. Wanting refinement as an hors d’oeuvre, I cut small rounds of each, stacked them and placed the stacks on a foiled low grill till the bread was crispy. Those are great, but over time I realized it was just a mini Greek pizza. These flavors came together in many other forms over the years and they never disappoint.

Tomato wrapped feta and zucchini for an Sure, here is the corrected text: "Hors d'oeuvre"
Roasted tomato topped zucchini wrapped around feta and oregano