Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon
Ingredient

Feta

Save to Recipe Box
Print
Add Private Note
Saved Add to List

    Add to List

Print
Add Recipe Note

What is it?

Feta is a rindless, white cheese aged in brine originally from Greece. It’s great crumbled onto all types of salads, stuffed in vegetables and pies, folded into casseroles, blended into dips, baked with oregano and olive oil, and most commonly, just sliced into slabs to be nibbled on throughout the meal.

Feta can range widely in texture and flavor; some are soft and moist, others hard and dry. Some are crumbly, others more creamy. Some are salty, others more tangy. The differences come from how the cheese was made, whether it contains sheep’s, goat’s, or cow’s milk, and how long it was cured. Traditional Greek feta usually consists entirely of sheep’s milk, although it may contain up to 30% goat’s milk. But feta is made in dozens of other countries too, including France, Spain, Israel, Australia, and the United States, where it’s mostly made with cow’s milk.

Don’t have it?

Substitute farmer’s cheese or Mexican queso fresco.

How to choose:

Imported and artisan-crafted feta made of sheep’s and goat’s milk can be delicious, but you may need to visit a specialty store to find them. Fortunately, supermarkets carry plenty of feta, some of it quite good. Whether it’s crumbly, hard, and dry, or soft, moist, and creamy, good feta should taste and smell fresh. Compared to most cheeses, feta has a pronounced but pleasing acidic tang. If it smells or tastes overly sour, or if it has developed a peppery aftertaste, it’s probably over the hill.

Buying feta in whole blocks, bricks, or wedges makes sense for the same reasons that you buy Parmesan in big chunks: it stays fresher for longer, it doesn’t dry out, and its flavor packs more punch. Also, it gives you more options. Sometimes you want to slice a thick slab of feta and other times you need large crumbles. Finally, feta sold in whole pieces is often—though not always—a sign of a better-quality feta.

How to prep:

You can make a crumbly feta more creamy by cutting the brine with milk—about 1 or 2 tablespoons per pint of brine will do. It takes a few days for this little trick to take effect. You might need to try a few batches before you get the amounts of salt and milk just right, but the cheese won’t suffer in the meantime.

How to store:

Store feta in the refrigerator in the brine it came in. If there is none, make your own brine (add a few hefty pinches of salt to a pint or more of water) and store the feta in a plastic container. A large chunk of fresh and properly stored feta should last up to three weeks.

    Recipes

  • Recipe

    Feta-and-Herb-Filled Pogaca Rolls

    Though this filling couldn’t be easier to make, it packs a bright punch of flavor, and the green flecks make it especially pretty. Note that there are two sets of shaping…

  • Recipe

    Fattoush-ish Bread Salad

    Crumbled feta, red onion, fresh mint, olives, and pita give this bread salad a Mediterranean feel.

  • Recipe

    Whole-Grain Farfalle with Spicy Shrimp and Roasted Peppers

    Here, the rustic whole-grain pasta is enhanced with the mild sweetness of roasted peppers and shrimp, and the kick of a spicy garlic marinade. You can use jarred roasted peppers,…

  • Recipe

    Greek Spinach Salad with Grilled Flap Steak and Marinated Feta

    Grilled steak turns a Greek salad into a substantial dish, while marinating the feta in a mixture of spicy chile flakes, briny capers, bright lemon, and herbs adds a big…

  • Recipe

    Mint-Feta Hummus

    This fluffy dip has a creamy, nutty flavor unlike anything you’ll find in a grocery store. Serve with pita, cucumbers, peppers, or carrots.

  • Recipe

    Super Simple Cucumber Salad

    This salad is excellent served grilled kebabs or lamb, or with the roasted salmon with dill cream.

  • Recipe

    Roasted Cauliflower and Arugula Salad with Sumac Dressing

    Pair this delicious salad with some toasted flatbread as a vegetarian main course or serve it as a side dish with grilled lamb chops, roast chicken, or seared salmon.

  • Recipe

    Grilled Lamb Chops with Watermelon-Feta Salad

    Fresh, juicy watermelon is the perfect counterpoint to sweet, smoky lamb. Add tangy cheese, salty olives, and fresh mint, and each bite explodes with flavor. Serve with grilled bread and…

  • Recipe

    Imam Bayaldi (Stuffed Eggplant)

    The name of this famous Turkish dish implies it was so good that “the imam fainted.” I hope you won’t keel over, but you’re sure to delight in the contrast…

  • Recipe

    Scrambled Egg Torta

    Tortas are big, flavorful, overstuffed Mexican sandwiches. This one—filled with scrambled eggs, mild cheese, bright cilantro, creamy avocado, and tangy lime juice—makes a tasty and hearty meal for any time…

Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.

Video

View All

Moveable Feast Logo

Season 4 Extras

Durham, North Carolina (412)

From rooftop to rain in North Carolina, Moveable Feast host Pete Evans is joined by the Lantern restaurant co-founders and siblings Andrea & Brendan Reusing to create an amazing local…

View all Moveable Feast recipes and video extras

Connect

Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks