Marinated Feta Cheese Recipe with Greek Olives, chilis, herbs, EVOO, and fresh thyme creates an extraordinary flavor, is easy to make and beautiful to serve.
Marinated Feta Cheese Makes A Great Homemade Gift
I began to experiment with my spices and herbs to make this for a Christmas appetizer and told the guys I needed their rating. Eureka! I was pleasantly surprised. All the guys LOVED IT and kept going back for more. The GUYS! Who would have thought this would turn out to be a man’s dish? I knew women loved it, and now I know men love it as well. A learning lesson once again “do not prejudge.”
Put it all together and marinate for a delightful appetizer, a Greek breakfast or afternoon SNACK!
If truth be told, I love Marinated Feta Cheese for an appetizer. However, I really love it for a Mediterranean Breakfast served with fresh oven toasted Whole-Wheat Naan Bread. I could swim in the stuff. Sometimes I wonder if I am part Greek. I adore Greek food and most of the time follow their food pyramid when making food choices for myself. Okay, I am done digressing … moving on. If you have an inquiring mind and want to know more about the Mediterranean Food Pyramid, click it to get.
Marinated Feta Cheese
Feta Cheese, dried herbs and chilis, fresh Thyme, Greek Olives and Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. That’s it!
For those of you who have followed me for a while, remember my teaching and post on Preserving Fresh Herbs and Seeds, for this recipe, I used my dried herbs (proud moment), the flavors were so fresh. Delicious!
I used a mortar and pestle – but not to worry – there are several ways to “makeshift” with everyday household items.
Interesting Tid Bit: Makeshift is a temporary substitute; sufficient for the time being.
Every Good Cook Begins With Prep
The prep for this recipe begins with the decision as to what you want to use to crush the dried herbs and spices. Next, gather your ingredients, slice the Feta, crush the dried herbs with the chilis, add the Greek Olives, the fresh Thyme, and drizzle with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil; assemble and marinate.
Make Shift Items for a Mortar and Pestle
For demonstration purposes, I used Red Peppercorns which are not in the recipe, but love the color, don’t you?
For each makeshift item, you will need a Ziplock bag to hold the dried herbs and the chilis.
Makeshift Number One: Use a meat mallet. Fill the ziplock and secure the top, removing the excess air. Gently hammer the herbs and spices with the mallet.
Makeshift Number Two: Fill the ziplock and secure the top, removing the excess air. Gently pound the bag with the bottom of the skillet. Press the middle of the pan and turn. Repeat.
Makeshift Number Three: Fill the ziplock and secure the top, removing the excess air. Using the bottom of a wine bottle, gently pound the bag of ingredients, holding the wine bottle completely vertical. ***The wine bottle should be empty, it’s your call on how this happens. Just sayin’.
Buy a Good Feta Cheese Packed in Water
Remove the Feta Cheese from the water and let it rest on a paper towel while you gather the ingredients. Slice the cheese into cracker sized pieces and assemble on a serving platter. A square plate gives a nice presentation. Sprinkle the crushed herbs and seeds and chilis on top of the Feta slices. If you like, sprinkle the herb/chili mix on the platter before assembling.
Add the drained Greek Olives. I always use Greek Olives with the pit; I think they have a better texture and taste. Lay the fresh Thyme sprigs on top of the cheese.
Drizzle a generous amount of a “good” Extra Virgin Olive Oil over all the ingredients.
Cover with plastic wrap and marinate, in the refrigerator, at least four hours or overnight.
Serve at room temperature with your favorite oven-toasted flatbread. Delicious!
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Marinated Feta Cheese Recipe with Greek Olives
Marinated Feta Cheese Recipe with Greek Olives, chilis, herbs, EVOO, and fresh thyme creates an extraordinary flavor is easy to make and beautiful to serve.
- 1½ teaspoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried fennel seeds
- ½ to ¾ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup Marinated Greek Olives, with pits
- 1½ lbs. Feta Cheese, packaged in water, remove from brine and rest on paper towels
- ½ cup plus, good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 8 to 10 fresh thyme springs
- Mortar and Pestle Instructions: Combine the dried thyme, fennel seeds, and the red pepper flakes in a mortar with a pestle. Using the pestle, crush the ingredients moving the pestle in a circular motion, but do not grind fine.
- Plastic Bag Instructions: Combine the dried thyme, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes into a Ziplock Bag. Remove the air from the bag and seal tightly. Using a meat mallet, the bottom of a skillet or a rolling to pin to crush the ingredients.
- Slice the Feta Cheese into cracker sized servings and arrange on a serving platter. Sprinkle the herb and chili mix on the cheese. Arrange the olives on the dish and lay as many fresh thyme springs on the cheese to lay over each row of the Feta. Drizzle generously with olive oil.
- Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Serve at room temperature with oven-toasted flatbread.
To crisp the Naan Flatbread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the bread directly on the grates and bake for 10 to 12 minutes as you desire.