In Greece’s culinary expanse, feta cheese looms large. Legend holds that Apollo’s son Aristaeus was the first to teach the ancient Greeks the art of cheesemaking. Today, the iconic brined cheese is used in innumerable ways, including stuffed into phyllo, stirred into rice or fried then slathered with honey for dessert.

But of all the many ways Greeks use feta, one of the most delicious preparations also happens to be one of the simplest. Not to mention a darling of the social media sphere.

The baked feta dish known as feta sto fourno ends up tasting like far more than the sum of its remarkably few parts. It requires little more than a block of good feta, a handful of chopped vegetables, a sprinkling of herbs and spices, and a hearty glug of olive oil to produce a creamy, savory dish that practically makes itself. As the combination bakes, the vegetables release flavorful juices, which meld with the olive oil and cheese to create a rich, tangy-sweet sauce.

Not so much a recipe as a template, feta sto fourno offers endless possibilities. “It literally means ‘feta in the oven,’ so as you can imagine, you can add whatever you fancy,” says Marianna Leivaditaki, the Crete-born author of “Aegean.”

However it’s made, always start with good-quality feta—the kind sold in blocks packed in brine. Cut into thick slabs, the feta takes on a golden-brown crust while remaining creamy at the center. True feta is made with sheep’s milk cheese (or sometimes a mixture of sheep and goat milk); however, milder-­tasting cow’s milk feta, dubbed “Greek-style feta,” also works well.

Our version of feta sto fourno marries feta with tomatoes, red onion and Kalamata olives. After caramelizing in the oven, the roasted vegetables provide a jammy-sweet counterpoint to the briny cheese and olives. For ease, we opt for cherry or grape tomatoes. Not only does this streamline prep (they need only to be halved, rather than cored and chopped), but both cherry and grape tomatoes also are reliably flavorful even out of season.

For extra complexity, we use two forms of oregano. Dried oregano is tossed with the other ingredients to bake, imparting a subtle, earthy sweetness. Then, before serving, we sprinkle on peppery, pungent fresh oregano for an herbaceous two-part harmony. And a bit of fruity Aleppo pepper lifts everything with a pleasantly mellow, citrusy heat.

Creamy, salty, sweet and tangy, the finished dish may be feta at its most simple. And simply perfect.