Have you ever tried marinated feta? If you haven’t you are seriously missing out. Feta is one of my favorite cheeses on an average day. But coat it in an herby, beautiful olive oil? Heaven.
June is normally a special month for me. My aunt Cheryl’s birthday is in June. Every year, my grandmother typically travel to East Hampton to visit the dogwood tree where her ashes lay. The tree is at a beautiful vineyard called Channing Daughters. Cheryl’s best friend Molly lives there because her family owns the vineyard. Her home is on a back corner of the sprawling estate. Beautiful summer afternoons looking out over the rows and rows of grapes, sipping on rose and chatting with old friends are common at this special place.
Whenever we visit, Molly effortlessly puts out a simple snack. Last time we were there, it was crackers and this divine Australian marinated feta. It was the first time I had ever had it! I was shook.
When I got back to the city, I went to Whole Foods and found it. I will warn you, it’s like $16. My boyfriend and I ate it all in about 5 minutes. I knew this would become a very expensive habit, so I set out to make my own. It’s really not that hard. To start, I consulted an old recipe for marinated olives and simply adjusted it. It’s VERY important that the olive oil is totally cool when you pour it over the cheese or you will melt it. Whole Foods sells a great block of feta in brine that I buy all the time and I would recommend it for this recipe. Here are some other things one could add to this: a strip of orange or lemon zest, a bay leaf, a thinly sliced shallot, edible flowers (why not?).
- 4 oz block feta Try to find a block of feta in a brine
- 1/2 cup best-quality olive oil extra virgin
- 7 each whole black peppercorns
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 each red chili, thinly sliced optional
- Break the feta into rough chunks less than 1 inch big. Place in a pint sized jar.
- In a small pot, heat olive oil, spices and herbs until just warm. Let cool completely.
- Pour oil and all the aromatics over the cheese, make sure it covers. Top with more olive oil if needed.
- Done! This will last a few weeks in your refrigerator. The oil acts as a barrier so spoilage does not occur so quickly.