Although you can purchase feta cheese in plastic containers, already crumbled, buying a block is often more economical and flavorful. Feta in block form is also typically of a higher quality than the pre-crumbled variety. (And flavored feta is another situation entirely.)
Feta cheese can range from soft to hard, and trying to crumble it for salads and toppings can result in mashing it instead. Just slice off what you need and when you're finished carefully crumbling it, simply put it back in the brine and return to the fridge. Here's the easiest way to do it, without destroying it.
What You Need
- Feta cheese
- Cold water (preferably ice water)
- Optional fork
How to Do It
- If you have a block of feta, cut a slice in the amount you want to crumble. Otherwise, just start with a slice.
- Run the feta under very cold water for 10 seconds. This will clear away any brine and firm it up.
- For salads, use your hands or the tines of a fork to break it up into small pieces. They do not have to be tiny; small chunks work just fine.
- For toppings for pasta, meat dishes, dakos (Greek bruschetta), and to use in pitas that call for smaller pieces, poke the feta with the tines of a fork (do not mash) to make very small pieces.
Recipes for Crumbled Feta Cheese
- Roasted Beet Salad with Crumbled Feta Cheese Recipe: Use roasted red and golden beets in this simple but elegant salad that includes mild feta cheese and baby greens, tossed with a dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.
- Roasted Carrots with Crumbled Feta Cheese and Dukkah Recipe: This Egyptian inspired side dish is made with roasted carrots and dukkah, a fragrant combination of roasted nuts and seeds that can be found in specialty markets, some supermarkets, or you can make your own.
- Spring Peas with Sumac and Crumbled Feta Recipe: Here the citrus notes of sumac are balanced by the sweetness of the peas with the sharp tang of feta cheese.
- Eggplant with Tomatoes and Crumbled Feta Cheese Recipe: This is a delicious alternative to the heavier eggplant Parmesan that makes a wonderful vegetarian entrée or side dish. It’s especially delicious when tomatoes are in season but will work just fine with canned tomatoes.
- Middle Eastern Spiced Lamb Burgers with Feta and Labneh Recipe: If you're looking to change your grilling routine a bit, try a ground lamb burger topped with crumbled feta cheese and a dollop of labneh (Middle Eastern cream cheese).
- Egg, Tomato, and Feta Cheese Quiche Recipe: This Middle Eastern take on a bacon-and-cheddar brunch egg tart is, instead, loaded with salty feta, fresh tomatoes, and za'atar (a Middle Eastern spice mixture).