Most days my lunch consists of some sort of homemade salad. Since I've been eating salads everyday for lunch for many years, I try and think up new ways to make it interesting. Sometimes I switch up the proteins from shrimp to chicken to crab. Fruits and vegetables run the gamut depending on what's in season and I also play with the greens a bit - love when I can find good butter lettuce. I alway make my own dressing and mix in different fresh herbs, shallots, French mustard, a good olive oil and this week, champagne vinegar. Cheese is always the icing on the cake and is usually a feta or goat for easy crumbling. I have tried making my own cheese and that takes some gear and some time, so I thought I'd try and just spruce up an existing cheese.
Feta is a pretty blank slate with a nice salty taste so I decided to marinade it with some of the spices and ingredients I'd use in a dressing.
I took fresh rosemary, oregano and sage and layered them into a mason jar between chunks of feta cheese that I had dried and seasoned with black pepper and red pepper flakes. Lemon zest makes most things better so in it went and then I covered this beautiful melange with a really good olive oil. I've been liking Arianna Trading Company's which is hand harvested in Greece, as well as raw and unfiltered for a really pure and delicious taste.
This cheese has really elevated my salads. I also drizzle some of the now seasoned olive oil onto my greens so now it only needs a little vinegar for it to be complete. I also like throwing the cheese on top of shrimp and it would work with pasta, pizza or a crusty baguette and some Rose!
Herb Marinated Feta
8 ounce feta cheese block
Red pepper flakes
Sprigs of fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pat feta dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cut into 3/4" squares and place one layer of cubes in a mason jar.
Next, place a layer of fresh herbs and lemon zest. Repeat with another layer of cheese and herbs. When the cheese hits the top, fill the jar with olive oil until it covers the final layer of cheese.
Allow to marinate at least 2-3 hours or overnight. Refrigerate after use up to 4-5 days.