This easy marinated feta is made with a block of feta, fresh (or dried) herbs, spices, lemon and olive oil, and is perfect as an appetizer, on a cheeseboard or on a salad.
It feels like there hasn't been much to celebrate lately.
There's no getting around it, 2020 was a hard year for everyone.
But you know what? I think we deserve a little celebratory food, if only for making it through some tough months.
I keep thinking about a line from the (admittedly cheesy) movie Elizabethtown, where Claire says:
"You want to be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around! Make them wonder why you're still smiling. That's true greatness to me."
Even if this year was rough, keep on showing up (even if it's from home) and keep on smiling.
Anyway, this is all my way of telling you, you deserve some fancy cheese.
This marinated feta is a low-effort, no stress recipe. Serve it as a mini cheeseboard, as part of a larger spread, or use it to top a salad (like this Greek salad)!
What Kind of Feta Should I Use?
Look for a block of feta.
Preferably, buy feta packed in brine (because it's a little more flavorful), but feta that's packed without brine will work perfectly too.
Avoid using feta crumbles.
What Kind of Container Should I Use for Marinated Feta?
A glass jar is a great option, because it'll be easier to completely coat the feta with the flavorful oil.
That said, the marinated feta will look a little bit prettier in a small serving bowl, so if you want it to look extra-fancy, go the bowl route.
What Kind of Herbs Should I Use?
The best answer is to use whatever you have on hand.
You can use fresh or dried herbs. I like to use rosemary, oregano and thyme.
How to Make Marinated Feta
Start by cubing the feta. Place it in whatever container you plan to use.
Top the cheese with herbs, a few spices, lemon zest and lemon juice.
Just like with the herbs, the spices can be adjusted to use what you have on hand.
Pour the oil onto the cheese.
Arrange the cheese so that each piece is either partially or fully submerged in oil.
How Long Should I Marinate the Cheese?
For the best flavor, marinate the cheese at least three hours.
You want the oil and cheese to have time to absorb the flavors.
How Long Does Marinated Feta Last?
Infused olive oil is delicious, but it requires a little bit of food safety awareness.
When infusing with fresh ingredients (like herbs), you should use it within three days to help keep the oil (and cheese in the oil) free from harmful bacteria.
What Can I Do with Leftover Oil?
Any leftover oil can be used in vinaigrettes and sauces.
To preserve the oil longer than three days, you can freeze it. Check the recipe card notes for freezing directions.
- glass jar or small bowl
- 8 ounce block of feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons diced green onions or chives
- 2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (or 1 tablespoon dried herbs) See Recipe Notes
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (optional)
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 lemon, zested + juiced
- 1 cup olive oil (amount approximate)
- If feta is packed in brine, drain the brine.Cut the feta into ½-inch cubes. Add the feta to a small serving bowl or a glass jar.
- Top feta with onions, herbs, peppercorns, red chili, lemon zest and juice.Pour the olive oil over the cheese. Arrange the cheese so that it's mostly (or completely) covered with the oil.Move to the refrigerator and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight. The oil will harden in the fridge, so move it to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.The cheese will last for up to 3 days if kept refrigerated. Leftover oil can be used in salad dressings or sauces, but should be consumed within 3 days. (See recipe notes for longer oil preservation options.)