While it is something of an acquired taste, feta cheese is relatively expensive and if you love it but feel you don’t get through it quick enough, it can be a shame to throw away. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to throw it away. If you have some time to spare and some extra virgin olive oil in your pantry, you can make a ridiculously tasty salad ingredient, appetiser or healthy snack – marinated feta cheese.
There are a lot of different options out there when it comes to how you can store feta cheese to make it last longer. However, one of the best options by a country mile in our humble opinion is to store it in olive oil. Marinated feta in olive oil maintains its salt content, remains moist and benefits from the additional flavours imparted by the olive oil.
As long as you choose to make your marinated feta cheese using high-quality olive oil, it should last at least two to three weeks in the fridge. You need to make sure you store it properly and when you do have to open the jar or container to take some out, make sure you seal it tightly again after use and put it straight back into the fridge. You must also make sure the feta cheese is completely submerged in the oil.
Although personal preference and what’s available may dictate how you do this, if you want to marinate feta cheese correctly to get the best out of it, you need to make sure you store it in a tight-lid jar. As noted above, ensure the crumbled feta chunks are fully submerged in the oil or they will go off sooner.
Yes, while marinated feta cheese that has been simply stored in some high-quality olive oil will taste nice, the addition of herbs, spices and other ingredients to the mix will enhance the flavour further. This is the part where a lot of trial, error and personal taste and preference will come into play. Rather than tell you which you should use (although we have provided a quick and easy recipe to follow that indicates some herbs, spices and other ingredients to add to your marinated feta cheese), we have put together a list of some flavour-enhancing ingredients to consider.
Thin slices of jalapeno – to give your olive-oil soaked feta cheese chunks a kick
Dry red chillies – for a different kind of fiery kick
Dried oregano – for a truly Mediterranean flavour and scent
Chopped fresh parsley – to round off the flavour
Lemon zest – everything’s better with a bit of citrus
Fresh Rosemary – if you want a more fragrant and almost floral flavour
Now to the good bit – a recipe for marinated feta that will make your taste buds dance for joy. Before we get down to business, let’s take a look at the ingredients you need. Most of these will already be in your cupboards and kitchen, but if they aren’t they are easy enough to buy. If you don’t want to spend more on this recipe than necessary, you can always experiment with different flavourings. As long as you have olive oil and Greek feta cheese, the rest can be changed.
Creamy feta cheese in brine – to make the best-marinated feta cheese, you need to choose a high-quality product.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – again, it’s important to choose the best quality olive oil you can, as this will help avoid it becoming too bitter and will ensure it lasts as long as possible.
A handful of dried and crushed red pepper flakes (adjust the recipe depending on how big a fan you are of spicy peppers)
Fresh parsley, chopped finely
Jalapeno, sliced thinly
Before mixing the ingredients, prepare glass jars (it’s always best to have more than one ready just in case you have a surplus), making sure it has a tight seal lid. Then take the feta cheese and cube or slice it into more manageable chunks, before placing it in the jars. Then mix ½ cup of the oil with fresh parsley, dried oregano, lemon zest, dried chillies and jalapeno slices. Add this into the jar with the feta and then top it all up with more oil.
Store the marinated feta in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before using and always serve it at room temperature for the best taste.