Feta cheese marinated in extra virgin olive oil, herbs and lemon is a super-easy appetizer or hostess gift that will make you look like a culinary rock star. Both incredibly delicious and gorgeous to look at, this simple recipe transforms feta cheese into something really special.
I keep a jar of this marinated feta cheese in my fridge at all times, either to pair with a baguette and bottle of wine for an impromptu dinner party or to turn a simple bowl of greens into an amazing salad for lunch.
A blend of lemon zest and herbs infuse both the olive oil and feta cheese with flavor. I’m particularly partial to dried Herbes de Provence mixed with fresh rosemary and thyme, but it’s also fun to play around with new combinations. Add sturdy fresh herbs, like thyme, rosemary and sage while the cheese is marinating and wait to add more delicate fresh herbs, like basil and mint, right before serving. Experiment with different dried herbs and spices - peppercorns, fennel seeds, dried dill and coriander come to mind – and add a hot red pepper or pepper flakes if you like.
Whatever combination you choose, give the feta cheese at least 8 hours to marinate, then enjoy for the next few weeks - if it lasts that long.
8 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch cubes
Zest from half a lemon, grated or cut into thin strips
12 1-inch pieces of fresh rosemary
12 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
Olive oil, to cover the cheese
Layer the cheese and herbs in a clean jar. Pour enough olive oil in the jar to completely cover the cheese. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, for flavor to build. The marinated feta will keep for several weeks in a covered jar in the refrigerator.
Any olive oil left in the jar when the cheese is gone can be used to make salad dressing, or, pour it over roasted & grilled vegetables.
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Images by Jennifer Meier