Phyllo-Wrapped Feta with Tahini-Honey
March 07, 2024

Phyllo-Wrapped Feta with Tahini-Honey

This recipe comes from Olga Massov and Sanaë Lemoine's new cookbook "Hot Sheet"

"The phyllo-wrapped feta "presents," a riff on a Greek dish called feta mi meli, make a delicious, nearly effortless appetizer or a sweet-savory main. When blasted with the oven heat, the feta, enclosed within golden, crisp layers of phyllo, softens into a creamy mess. We offer a twist on the traditional recipe with a tahini-honey spread on top, a pinch of thyme, and a shower of toasted sesame seeds. If you've been curious about phyllo--a thin dough popular in dishes of the Levant--but are intimidated to try it, this is a great starter recipe. Keep in mind that phyllo dries out quickly and needs to be covered with a damp--not wet--kitchen towel while you work with portions of it. But don't worry if your phyllo tears along the way--because of the layers, it's extremely forgiving, and you wont notice those tears once it's baked. Be sure to add the tahini-honey to the hot feta packets as soon as they come out of the oven, as the residual heat will melt the slurry and make it easier to spread."

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
1 lb (454 g) feta cheese, preferably sheep's or goat's milk or a blend, drained and patted dry
8 sheets phyllo dough (ideally 9 x 14 inches/23 x 36 cm), thawed overnight in the refrigerator if frozen
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried, divided
Coarsely ground black pepper 
¼ c (56 g) Seed + Mill Organic Tahini
¼ c (84 g) honey
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (we love a mix of black and white), for sprinkling
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional), for sprinkling 



1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a half-sheet pan with a little oil.

2. Using a sharp knife, cut the feta into four 3- to 4-ounce (85 to 113 g) planks, about 3 x 4 inches (7.5 x 10 cm) and 1/4 to 1/2 inch (0.6 to 1.3 cm) thick.

3. Working with 2 sheets of phyllo at a time--keep the remaining phyllo covered under a clean, damp towel--place a sheet of phyllo on a clean, dry work area, such as a large cutting board. Brush lightly with oil and place the second sheet on top. (If the phyllo tears in places, don't worry and keep going, as you with wrap the feta in it, and a few tears won't make a difference.) Place a piece of feta near one of the shorter sides of the phyllo stack, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of the fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp of the dried, and season with a few grinds of black pepper. Roll the phyllo to wrap the feta until you reach the other shorter side of the phyllo. Fold the longer sides underneath, and set the wrapped feta down, with the folded phyllo on the bottom on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat three more times with the remaining phyllo, oil, feta, thyme, and pepper. Space the feta packages about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. 

4. Gently brush the tops and sides of the phyllo with a little oil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes (start checking at 20 minutes just to be sure), or until the phyllo is golden and crispy. (Don't worry if some of the feta has leaked through the sides.)

5. While the feta is baking, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini and honey until thoroughly combined. If you want to pour, rather than spread, the mixture, whisk in 2-3 tsp cold water until you get a thick but pourable consistency. The mixture will be thick at first but will loosen when spread over the hot phyllo packet. 

6. Remove the hot sheet from the oven and immediately spread or pour the tahini-honey over the top of the phyllo, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds, flaky sea salt, and pepper flakes (if using). Transfer to individual plates or a platter and serve hot.

From HOT SHEET by Olga Massov and Sanaë Lemoine. Copyright © 2024 Olga Massov  and Sanaë Lemoine. Reprinted by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.