Something that can never be missing from a rustic Greek salad is feta cheese, which is made in Greece using traditional methods with sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s milk and up to 30% goat’s milk.
How is feta cheese made?
After curdling the milk and draining the whey, the curds are salted, cut and layered in brine in wooden or metal containers. The feta remains to mature in this brine for at least two months. Once ready, the cheese has a white color, a more or less crumbly texture and an intense and spicy aroma due to sheep’s milk.
Since sheep’s milk is rich in protein and fat, feta is a good source of protein. The lipid content includes valuable omega-3 saturated fats. Feta cheese contains calcium, zinc and vitamins A, B2 and B12. Due to its preparation method it is very salty. Leaving it in water for half an hour before eating reduces the salt content.
Feta is recognized as a food with a protected designation of origin (DOP)
This guarantees that the cheese is produced in mainland Greeceaccording to traditional methods. In addition to the traditional feta, other similar products can be found on the market, such as sheep’s milk cheese from other countries and “feta-type” cow’s milk cheese.
If purchased loose or after opening the container, feta cheese can only be kept in the refrigerator for a limited time and should be consumed within four to five days.
Recipes that include feta cheese in their preparation
Fruit of Greek tradition and with a delicate flavor, feta is a very digestible cheese with many properties that is used as an ingredient in various recipes. Here we leave you two very simple to prepare.
Greek style salad
It is a cold dish that is prepared in a moment and is perfect for a light lunch. It is ideal for a lunch at work, a dinner with friends or even to eat on the beach under the umbrella.
Add the typical ingredients of the Greek saladie green vegetables, red tomatoes, onion, black olives, cucumber and feta cheese. Accompanied by bruschetta, it becomes a really tasty single dish, especially in summer when we don’t feel like being in the kitchen!
We recommend eating it as soon as it is ready, but if you want to prepare it in advance, store it in the fridge and add the dressing only before bringing it to the table. Now let’s see how to prepare the Greek-style salad.
Greek style salad
It is a tasty and light dish, perfect to prepare in advance and enjoy cold. There are never enough cold pasta recipes and it’s always fun to look for new and tasty combinations.
On this occasion we have focused on a great classic, the combination of courgettes and mint and We’ve added feta cheese to make this pasta salad even tastier.
Cold zucchini and mint pasta
Start by cutting the courgettes into slices and cooking them in a pan with a little oil, salt and mint. In about 15 minutes they will be ready. Next, cook the pasta and, once ready, run it under cold water to stop it cooking and avoid the risk of it splitting.
Now all that remains is to pour the pasta into a large salad bowl and add the courgettes and the cubes of feta cheese. A good stir-fry and then we put our cold courgette and mint pasta to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours.
How to serve it
When the pasta is cool and the flavors have blended well, complete the dish with a few sprigs of fresh mint and bits of feta cheese
It is a first course that also lends itself to a standing dinner or an appetizer: we can arrange it in small single-serving bowls with small forks or leave it on the serving tray with small plates nearby so guests can help themselves.