1 1⁄2 cups mixed olives, pitted or not, in brine
1 tablespoon chopped lemon thyme
2 teaspoons orange zest, from about 1 orange
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon toasted fennel seeds
2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
16 ounces French sheep’s milk feta,
cut into 1-inch cubes
Crostini to serve


Prepare oven according to Mugnaini’s Medium Roasting Environment, 550 – 625˚F

Drain the olives and place in a small bowl. Add the thyme, zest, juice, pepper flakes, fennel seed, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Set aside. This can be made several hours in advance and held at room temperature.

Oil a 10-inch oven proof skillet with the remaining teaspoon of oil. Add the feta and pour the olives and seasonings over the top.

Place in the oven and cook for about 8 minutes. Rotate the pan half way through cooking time. The olive mixture should be bubbling and the cheese warm and soft. The feta cheese will hold its shape and become “spreadable”.