Whipped cheeses seem to be all the rage these days – feta, goat’s cheese, you name it and someone’s whippin’ it. I did a whipped paneer version not so long ago that turned out great, so feta seemed the obvious next choice. I love its saline hit especially paired with sweet and tangy elements.
We eat feta more than any other cheese (it comes in a close second only to paneer). Here are a few recipes from my repertoire that I keep going back to over and over again. In salad form: roasted zucchini with chilli-feta, with caramelized pears, with muskmelon, with roasted beets and horse gram. Tossed into eggs in these lusciously tender Greek scrambled eggs. And a house favourite: roasted beet and feta pasta. I’m afraid I’ll digress more if I continue listing all the glorious things one can do with a block of feta—and believe me, I haven’t even scratched the surface of its versatility and potential—but a quick shout out to this Caponata and garlic bread casserole too.
Back here: the tomatoes are tossed with earthy za’atar and cumin seeds and roasted until they burst open. The juices that pool around them get caramelized, sticky and sweet. Make sure you scrape out and include all these bits stuck to the pan.
The whipped feta couldn’t be simpler: combine feta and yogurt and blend until smooth. The yogurt keeps things light and also contributes to that extra bit of acidity. Refrigerate until ready to serve. All about the contrasts here. With flavour: salty feta + tangy tomatoes; and with temperature: cold feta + warm tomatoes. So simple. So satisfying.
WHIPPED FETA WITH ZA'ATAR ROASTED TOMATOES
- 100 grams feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons thick yogurt
- 500 grams cherry tomatoes
- 1 ½ tablespoons za’atar
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons chilli flakes
- Parsley leaves, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200 C.
- Toss the cherry tomatoes with za’atar and cumin seeds on a baking tray. Roast in the oven for 30 mins or until they burst open.
- Add the feta and yogurt to a blender/food processor. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To serve: dollop the whipped feta onto a plate. Top with roasted tomatoes, along with all the bits from the tray. Sprinkle over chopped parsley and chilli flakes.
- Best served when the feta is fridge-cold. Use flatbreads/any crusty bread to scoop onto.