Marinated Feta with Garlic, Chilli and Fresh Herbs
I love this Marinated Feta recipe. For me, it is the perfect example of how by adding a few flavouring elements – garlic, chilli and fresh herbs – you can transform simple feta cheese into a truly memorable dish. It is so easy to make and it keeps for up to a month in the refridgerator. This is food preparation that anyone can do. It does not require any level of culinary skill but allows you to be creative with flavours and produce something that is tailored to your individual taste. Marinated Feta is also really versatile and is great as a nibble with drinks or on bread as a light lunch. It is also excellent for picnics as it can be transported easily in its own jar.
A cultural mix-up….
Clearly, Marinated Feta is not a traditional English dish but, using herbs from my garden, it brings a bit of sunny Greece to cooler northern Europe. One of the wonderful things about modern English cooking is the way it is influenced by cuisines from other countries which are absorbed and adapted. I think that this is what cooking and developing recipes is all about. In a strange way, this dish is actually inspired by memories of my rural English childhood when, not so long ago, access to foods from other countries was not so common as it is now. When I was about ten, a wonderful Greek delicatessen opened in my local town, bringing olives, dolmades, taramasalata and wonderful Marinated Feta to greedy locals! I loved the garlicky, herby feta and, many years later, tried to recreate it in this recipe.
… and the perfect recipe for experimentation!
I have made this recipe using garlic, chilli and have chosen to use bay leaves, rosemary and thyme as my fresh herbs. However, you can change the flavour combinations according to what you have to hand and what you think tastes good. Don’t like chilli? Leave it out. Love garlic? Put more in! If you have other favourite herbs, why not try them instead?Print
Feta Cheese, marinated with garlic, chilli and fresh herbs, takes minutes to prepare and keeps for up to a month. It is fantastic as a nibble with drinks or spread on bread for a light lunch. It is also great for a picnic as it is easily transportable.
- 150 g feta cheese
- 3 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme (to provide 2 tablespoons of leaves)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 300 ml good quality olive oil
- Sterilise a 500 ml capacity jar by washing it in soapy water and then putting it in an oven at 120 C for 15 minutes.
- Chop the feta into cubes of approximately 1 cm square and place them in the jar.
- Tuck the rosemary sprigs and the bay leaves around the cheese. Strip the leaves off the thyme stems and add them to the jar.
- Peel and slice the garlic cloves and add them to the jar.
- If using, scatter the chilli flakes over the top of the cheese.
- Fill the jar with the olive oil making sure that all the cheese is covered.
- Put the lid on the jar and leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours, ideally several days, for the cheese to absorb the flavours of the garlic and herbs.
- The marinated cheese will last for up to a month.
- When you wish to eat the cheese, remove the jar from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. This will mean the oil is liquid and the flavours are fully developed.
- Marinated feta is great on its own as a nibble with drinks. It can also be spread on bread as a light lunch. It is a good option for picnics as it can be easily transported in its jar.
- Use this recipe as a basis and experiment with flavours that you like. If you don’t like chilli, leave it out. If you love garlic, put more in. You can alter the quantity and type of herbs used.
Keywords: feta, feta cheese, marinated, herbs, garlic