This Pan-Fried Crusted Feta with Cherry Tomatoes is a perfect appetiser that everybody loves and is ideal for the upcoming summery aperitivos. The feta cheese is coated with panko for extra crispiness and is accompanied by a cherry tomato and basil salad that pairs perfectly with the cheese. Serve it with your favourite bread and a little honey to contrast with the salty feta. And voilà, a quick appetiser ready to be devoured!
This is a quick and simple recipe, so I promise not to extend myself too much, but I will give you some tips so that this appetiser turns out perfectly. You can serve the crusted feta with the cherry tomato salad or not, simply on a cheese board or with olives, for example, but what cannot be missing is a a side of bread to eat it with. Today you will see that I have served it with classic peasant bread, but crackers or my piada chips would also be ideal!
About the Cherry Tomato Salad
It’s a refreshing side to this pan-fried crusted feta, and the balsamic vinegar used in the vinaigrette lightens the “fatty sensation” of the cheese. Another refreshing touch is basil, which also makes a beautiful garnish to serve at a dinner with friends or family. If you don’t have cherry tomatoes, you can make it with regular salad tomatoes, diced or sliced as you prefer. I just think that cherry tomatoes, with their sweetie taste, size and variety of colours, give a plus to the flavour and aesthetics of this simple appetiser (we eat through the eyes too, right?).
A Few Things to Bear in Mind to Make the Perfect Pan-Fried Crusted Feta
- Preferably use panko for the crust, which is Japanese style breadcrumbs. It’s thicker than traditional breadcrumbs and allows for an extra crispy coating. There are different thicknesses, the one I use is the intermediate one. If you can’t find it, you can use regular breadcrumbs.
- Coat the feta twice to get an even crispier crust and so that the cheese is well coated.
- Coat all sides of the feta block. This not only ensures that all the edges have a crispy touch, but it also prevents the feta from oozing out while you pan-fry it. As solid as it may seem when cold, it softens and “melts” with heat.
My favourite way to enjoy this pan-fried crusted feta is to serve it right away, while it’s still warm and soft in the inside. While it’s also great at room temperature, just be aware that the cheese will harden again as it cools.
More Delicious Summery Appetisers
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Pan-Fried Crusted Feta with Cherry Tomatoes
- 250 g cherry tomatoes - halved
- 5 basil leaves - cut into strips
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 block 200 g feta cheese
- 1 egg
- 40 g panko - or regular breadcrumbs (see notes)
- Oil - for frying. I use extra virgin olive oil.
- Honey - optional
- Black pepper - optional
- Basil leaves - optional
- Bread - toasted or not to taste.
- In a bowl, mix the cherry tomatoes with the basil, salt, vinegar and olive oil. Set aside.
- Whisk the egg in a shallow plate and in another one add the panko. Coat the feta cheese by dipping it first into the egg, draining off any excess, and then dredging it through the panko. Turn the cheese so that it is well coated on all sides and press the panko gently so it adheres well. Repeat the process to make a second layer: first the egg and then the panko, pressing it gently to adhere.
- In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat (there should be enough oil to cover half of the feta). When the oil shimmers, add the feta and cook for for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown. If the sides have not browned, turn the cheese with the help of tongs and hold it so that it browns on the sides too.
- Serve immediately on a plate, with the tomato salad around and some bread. If you want, drizzle some honey, and top with black pepper and basil leaves. Enjoy!
- Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs. They are thicker than regular breadcrumbs and allows for an extra crispy coating.
- To coat the feta, always add more breadcrumbs into the plate than you will need, this is key to make a perfect coating and not leaving any empty spots. You can always save the leftovers in an airtight container for another day.