This Phyllo-Wrapped Feta with Honey and Sesame Seeds is sweet, salty, crispy and utterly irresistible. One bite, and you’ll see why this one of the most memorable dishes I ate in Greece, and maybe in my entire life…
Some people plan their vacations around museums, historical landmarks, or the most exciting shopping meccas, but I have a different approach. I plan my vacations solely around food, and the other stuff must accommodate my gluttonous endeavors. Literally the second my mouse clicks purchase on that Southwest website, it immediately begins searching the latest Yelp reviews for the highest-rated restaurants in the closest surrounding areas. After a lengthy research process, of comparing menus, analyzing opinions, and weighing the pros and cons with each, I usually hone in on my favorites, and settle on the chosen ones a month or so prior to the trip.
Traveling overseas makes restaurant planning a little more difficult, since a lot of the websites are in a different language, and navigating your way through a strange foreign city where walking is king is challenging, to say the least. When we went to Greece a few years ago, I did my best to make plans in advance, but during our 10-day say I actually only managed to plan out three or four of our dinners. Of course, all of my carefully curated restaurant reservations panned out, but what I was pleasantly surprised by, was the fact that the ones we just happened to meander on in to, were some of my most memorable meals.
The most memorable dish in particular (aside from a truly unforgettable Lobster Spaghetti that I made a copy of here), was a Greek dish I’d never had back in the states – Phyllo-Wrapped Feta with Honey and Sesame – and is something I still daydream about today. Something about the salty feta, crispy phyllo, sweet honey and nutty sesame seeds works perfectly together, and even verges on addictive.
I’ve been meaning to recreate it at home for years (literally), and have no idea why it’s taken me so long. With only five ingredients and virtually no prep, these guys come together super quickly and relatively easily. The only (mildly) tricky part is handling the delicate phyllo dough gently so it doesn’t shatter in to a million pieces. The key is to keep the unused sheets slightly moist while you work, and to work pretty quickly. Although, I will say, that because there are so many layers, even if your dough breaks in a few places, the next sheet will likely cover the flaw, and even if doesn’t, a rustic look is what we’re going for so don’t sweat it.
Each sheet gets brushed liberally with melted butter, then stacked on top of one another. Once you have five layers, the feta gets piled in the middle and the whole thing is folded up in to a neat little package. More butter is brushed on and the little guys go in to the oven.
Once they’re super crisp and brown, they’re brushed with a little bit of warm honey, white and black sesame seeds, popped back in to the oven for a few minutes and then served piping hot. I like to use a knife and fork to dig in, but if you aren’t opposed to sticky fingers, you could just eat it like a pop tart, two hands on the wheel.
Any favorite dishes you’ve been dying to recreate from traveling???
- 5 sheets phyllo dough
- 4 Tlbs unsalted butter, melted
- 5 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- ⅛ cup honey
- 1½ tsp. sesame seeds (black or white or both)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Cover pieces of phyllo with a slightly damp kitchen towel while you work with the dough. Lay one sheet of phyllo on a large butting board or counter. Brush with butter. Lay next piece of phyllo on top, brush with butter, repeat for remaining pieces of phyllo
- Use a sharp knife to cut the dough down the middle vertically. Evenly divide the feta between the two pieces of phyllo. Place in a small rectangle in the middle of the portions of phyllo. (The rectangle should be about 2 inches by 3½ inches.) Fold the long edges in and then fold the other two edges in to create a package. Brush outside with butter. Flip over and brush the top with butter.
- Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 20-25 minutes.
- While the feta and phyllo cook, add the honey to a small saucepan. Turn the heat on medium-low and heat until syrup-like in consistency.
- Once the phyllo is golden brown and crispy, remove from oven and brush with honey. Sprinkle evenly with sesame seeds. Bake another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Eat with a knife and fork!