Sometimes I’m big into eating the exact opposite of what you should be eating in the current season. While I am of course delving into meaty stews, chicken noodle soups and rich, heavy roasts – sometimes I like to switch it up with something super fresh and summery in the winter. And what better than a crunchy Greek-inspired salad with tangy, bright ingredients to do the trick! I had been reading about marinated feta via David Lebovitz and it seemed so easy to make, I had to give it a whirl.
The best part about making the marinated feta was figuring out what to do with it. While this salad was yummy, throwing this cheese into an herby omelette or Quiche would be divine, or even simply putting a heaping pile of this cheese next to a charcuterie would be perfection. I ended up eating most of mine straight up – I just freaking love cheese!
Ingredients for Marinated Feta
8 oz feta cheese, cut into
1/2 cup – 3/4 cup olive oil
4 strips of lemon zest
2 sprigs of fresh dill
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Ingredients for Greek Chicken Salad
1 chicken breast
2 tbs butter
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
chopped romaine lettuce
sliced marinated red peppers (store-bought)
chunks of marinated feta
fresh cracked pepper
To marinate the feta, just cut the cheese into about 1-inch long pieces and place into a mason jar with the herbs, zest and red pepper. Then pour olive oil into the jar until the cheese is well submerged, seal and refrigerate for use up to two weeks. You can use immediately, but I found the flavor to be more pronounced the next day.
Onto the salad, where you’ll start by cooking the chicken. Get a frying pan to medium heat and melt one tbs of butter. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast and toss it into the pan. Squeeze 1/4 of the lemon onto the chicken, you’ll use the rest at the end of cooking for a real lemon-y punch. Cook the chicken on medium heat, the first side for about 8 minutes. Then flip the chicken breast and cook about another 7 minutes. Now crank up the heat to medium/high and add another tbs of butter and the rest of the lemon juice. The butter will start to brown at this higher heat which adds awesome flavor to the chicken. Cook the chicken on this higher heat for 5 minutes, flipping once to make sure both sides get the special treatment. Remove from heat and let cool for about 1/2 hour.
Then to make the salad, just toss it all together and use the toppings I listed above in the amounts you like. You really don’t have to use dressing because the red peppers and feta are marinated in olive oil, but if you need a little extra, take a tablespoon or so of your marinated olive oil from the feta jar! Voila, summery salad in December! 🙂