Grapefruit and Rosemary Marinated Feta Cheese is an easy way to infuse cheese with flavor, and it makes a fabulous homemade food gift, too!
We’re slowly slouching toward salad season…and putting up these little bite sized blocks of feta cheese in tangy grapefruit and rosemary infused olive oil is helping to get me in the right frame of mind. I’m not quite ready for a bare naked plate of leafy greens, but I know if I throw a few of these flavor infused nuggets into a regular salad it will make it more hearty, more in tune with what I’m craving right now.
This is a riff on the classic Mediterranean combination of lemon and rosemary. The grapefruit has a rounder, more fruity flavor than the lemon, and offsets the already tangy feta better, I think. I use the rind and the juice to emphasize the citrus in the marinade, and for this recipe, it’s the white grapefruit you want, the pink is too sweet and doesn’t have the necessary zing (technical term). Black pepper gives it a tiny bit of heat. And yes, you do need quite a bit of olive oil for this, but it won’t go to waste. As you use the cheese, also scoop out a bit of the flavored oil to dress it. It can be used in salad dressings or cooking, too
- 8 oz feta cheese (in block form)
- the zest of one white grapefruit, finely shredded (wash the grapefruit first)
- 4 Tbsp fresh squeezed white grapefruit juice (about 1/2 a grapefruit)
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- several sprigs fresh rosemary
- olive oil
- Carefully cut the block of feta cheese into 1/2 inch cubes. I didn't use the entire block of cheese because it did not fit in my jar.
- Layer the cheese into one large or two smaller glass jars, adding the rosemary, peppercorns, and zest in between.
- Pour the grapefruit juice in, and then fill the jar(s) with olive oil.
- Cap tightly and store in the refrigerator.
- I turned my jar upside down once or twice a day to distribute the grapefruit juice.
- Give the cheese a few days to take on the flavors. The longer you leave it the stronger the flavor will be. Consume it within a month.
If you want to get more flavor and heat from the peppercorns, lightly crack them before adding them to the jar. The olive oil will solidify in the refrigerator, so take the cheese out and bring to room temperature before serving.
I knew that I would like this feta, I’ve had marinated feta many times before, but I was not expecting this version to be as flavorful as it turned out. We tried it after several days and the grapefruit flavor had permeated the cheese in a wonderful way. The flavor is unexpected and really wonderful. The marinade also seems to mellow out the sharpness of the feta, and make it a little creamier. This recipe was a big success, I will definitely be making it again.
The flowering rosemary is pretty, but not the best choice for eating because the flavor of herbs fades when they set their flowers. Be sure to collect non-blooming sprigs for the marinade.