Think feta is just for Greek salads? Think again. As I mentioned in the previous post Greeks are the highest consumers of cheese, with feta making up over half of the cheese consumed. How do Greeks manage to eat over 25 pounds of feta a year? Easy! For Greeks, feta is like bread, it will be on every table regardless of what is being served. We eat it with everything!
Traditionally it is coupled with lathera and kokkinista (meat or vegetables cooked in tomato sauce). The Greek diet has plenty of vegetables and bean dishes and they were consumed as a main course with feta being the protein source, making it a very important nutritional component of the diet.
The simple combination of feta and bread can make a meal, there is even a word for it: psomo-tyri, which translates to bread-cheese. Add a few olives and some tomato and you have a complete meal.
Another common use of feta in the Greek diet is in savoury pies. It is added to almost every single pie such as spanakopita (spinach pie), tyropita (cheese pie), hortopita (wild greens pie), and prassopita (leek pie).
But there are also plenty non-traditional ways to use feta. Personally, I can manage to fit in feta in almost every recipe because it so versatile, but here are some traditional and non-traditional ideas:
1. Sprinkle feta on mashed potatoes or baked potatoes.
2. Sprinkle it on top of pizza. Tastes good with fresh tomato, olives and artichokes.
3. In a sandwich… Sprinkle the inside of a baguette with olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle some oregano and top with a slice of feta. Or in grilled cheese, use feta and olive oil instead of butter.
4. Use it to make stuffed mushrooms or stuffed peppers along with some olive oil, herbs, and breadcrumbs.
5. Use it with salads: Greek salad (tomato-cucumber-olives), lettuce salad along with spring onion or beet salad.
6. Pair watermelon or cantaloupe or grapes with feta, a perfect combination especially in the summer.
7. Make phyllo turnovers filled with vegetables (spinach, greens, zucchini) and feta or Greek savoury pies (pites).
8. Combine with any type of vegetables cooked with olive oil and tomato (lathera).
9. Grill feta in the oven with a sprinkle of pepper flakes.
10. Use to make a feta dip.
11. Sprinkle on nacho chips along with some sliced black olives and heat until cheeses softens.
12. Add some feta to your omelet.
13. Add to pasta, pairs well with sun dried tomatoes, zucchini and olives.
14. Add feta to beans (legume) dishes. Feta goes very well with lentils and broad beans.
15. Top a beef patty with a thin slice of feta, serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of oregano.
16. Make savoury muffins using various veggies and feta cheese.
17. In a quiche. Works well with spinach or leek.
18. Pour some honey and sprinkle with sesame a piece of feta and than wrap in phyllo. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius) and serve with warm honey.
19. And my favorite way….as a table cheese: just put on the table and eat it with whatever else you are serving.