My last visit to the store for my weekly shopping, I ended up buying a container of Feta Cheese. I have never had bought a feta cheese before, nor have I ever made a dish with it. So, another of my impulse purchase, I had about 200gms feta cheese with no clue whatsoever what I was going to do. I just knew that the Greek Salad served by one of my favourite bistro tastes heavenly, thanks to a liberal inclusion of feta cheese.
I had this immediate desire to create a similar full of flavour and taste kind of salad but I first wanted to know what other options I could possibly use the feta cheese for. I thus, did some homework to figure out what I wanted to do.
Feta cheese is of Greek origin and traditionally, is made from sheep milk that is coagulated or thickened into a curd hard enough to have a cutting consistency. This thickened curd is dry salt infused and then finally pickled in brine or a salt water solution.
The modern day recipes typically use Feta cheese for making salads, dips, stuffing for grilled potatoes or chicken, filling for sandwiches or puffed pastries and baked dishes. Feta cheese, because of its high saltiness, can become overpowering and hence needs to be carefully paired with ingredients that enhance the palatability quotient of the dish.
I found some interesting flavour pairings for Feta Cheese… Red peppers, dill, chickpeas, watermelon, olives, potato to name a few.
At the end of my homework, I finally had a salad all figured out in my head…. A Chicken n Feta Cheese Salad with the lightly herbed dressing….
To get going, you would need
For the salad,
100g Feta Cheese, crumbled
200g Chicken boneless chicken breast
2 cups raw veggies & fruit cut in cubes (green peppers, carrot, cucumber and orange)
2-3 leaves of iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 tsp Pepper
2-3 tbsp Salad dressing
1 tbsp Olive oil
2 tsp Chopped dill leaves
½ tsp garlic powder
For the salad dressing, you would need
1 tsp fresh basil & Parsley leaves
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
A pinch of chilli flakes
Salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste
2 tsp honey
½ tsp Dijon mustard paste (I got it from Nature’s Basket)
1 tsp Pumpkin seeds (Got them from Amazon site)
To make the salad dressing, add all the ingredients to a pulse mixie, and pulse to form a neatly combined coarse paste. The dressing is ready.
Add olive oil, garlic powder and dill in a bowl and mix well. Lightly brush this mixture onto the chicken breast and place on a heated pan drizzled lightly with olive oil. Once cooked, make coarse chicken shreds with help of a couple of forks.
Put all the salad ingredients including feta cheese and chicken in a large mixing bowl, add salt and pepper and toss well. Add the dressing and mix well. Your salad is ready to serve!
The salad tasted great and the flavours of feta accentuated by the garlic n dill infused chicken stood out. My homework did result into creation of a lovely dish!
While doing my homework on Feta, I found the watermelon – feta pairing absolutely intriguing. It reminded me of a Salad I had long time back at this nice Continental bistro. It was watermelon and it was feta cheese and it was delicious! I was not exactly checking out on what went into creating this dish back then, but the awesome taste still as fresh in my memory as the freshness the salad exuberated. Now I must go back to that place to have that salad sometime soon!! Yummy yum yum!
This time I will surely get the recipe from the chef and try creating my own version of the Watermelon n Feta Salad….…
So I will see you soon with more…. Till then… ciao and Yummy Expressions!