Greek Salad with Grilled Feta

2 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved, or your favorite tomato cut into bite-size pieces
1 cucumber (about 4 ounces), cut into bite-size wedges
1/4 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/2 medium red onion (3 ounces), thinly sliced
Two (7-ounce) packages sheep’s milk feta cheese
4 fresh thyme or dill sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons honey
4 ounces kalamata olives, pitted
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, or 2 teaspoons dried
Fresh mint leaves, torn, for serving (optional)
Toasted or baked pita chips or toasted pita bread, for serving (optional)
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Preheat the grill to high (see NOTES).

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes and cucumbers and sprinkle lightly with salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons of oil, the lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and the pepper. Add the red onion to the dressing.

Generously grease a heatproof baking pan and transfer the feta to the pan. Top each block with sprigs of fresh thyme or dill, or with the dried herbs. Drizzle with the remaining oil and the honey, and season generously with black pepper. Place the pan on the grill grate, cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the feta is softened and golden around the edges. (At the last minute, you can add the pita to the grill to toast, if you like.) Transfer to a heatproof surface to cool for 2 to 3 minutes, then cut each block in half diagonally.

Drain the tomatoes and cucumbers, if necessary. Return them to the bowl and toss with the dressing, olives and oregano.

Divide the tomato mixture among the bowls and top each with a wedge of feta. Sprinkle with the mint leaves, if using, and more pepper, if desired.
Serve with pita chips or toasted pita and lemon wedges.

Storage: Refrigerate the feta and salad separately for up to 2 days.

NOTES: The feta can be baked instead. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the middle. Oil an ovenproof casserole dish or cast-iron skillet. Prepare the feta as directed and roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until softened and golden around the edges.

To prepare the grill: If using a gas grill, set it to 475 degrees. If using a charcoal grill, fill 2 chimney starters with charcoal and light them. When the coals are white-gray with ash, pour them into charcoal grate, adding more charcoal if necessary, and put the lid on the grill, making sure the air vents are open all the way. When all the coals are gray and hot, about 15 to 20 minutes, your grill should be between 475 and 500 degrees. (Use a grill thermometer or test the heat by holding your hand, palm down, about 4 inches above the grate for about 2 to 4 seconds. Pull your hand away from the heat before it hurts and be sure that nothing flammable, such as clothing, is near the heat.) A charcoal grill may make this recipe take about 20 minutes longer.

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