(Photo, Renee Comet; styling, Bonnie Benwick; tableware, Crate and Barrel/For the Washington Post)

Anthony Chittum didn’t waste any time. As soon as he and his wife, Dominique, tasted a sesame-fried feta dish at some “random taverna” while visiting her family in Greece four years ago, he knew what he had to do. “I cooked it for the family, there in Santorini, played around with it, then came back, worked on it some more and put it on the menu” at Vermilion in Alexandria, he says.

Now, as executive chef at Iron Gate in Dupont Circle, he serves it as a hearty appetizer paired with seasonal root vegetables.

The dish hits all the right notes: salt and tang from the feta, sweetness from the honey, earthiness from the vegetables (carrots in late spring) and a touch of smoke from the fried sesame seeds. Don’t forget the crowning touch, balsamic vinegar. Splurge on a good aged one, which should be almost syrupy, and after you drizzle it on, open a window and pray for a Santorini-like breeze to blow through your kitchen.

4 servings

Recipe: Sesame-Crusted Feta With Honey-Roasted Carrots

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