Truth be told, I am not a cheese person. I don’t like cheese, but I don’t hate it either. However if I had a choice, I wouldn’t usually eat cheese. Or mayonnaise, but let’s save that for another time. It is really this indifference with cheese that has taken me this long to really discover feta. I mean sure, I’ve had it in salads, but never really in a conscious manner.
I think I am at a point wherein my interest in food would encourage me to savour and appreciate in an objective way even the things I don’t usually eat or particularly like (ie. cheesy things), yet I actually kind of like feta. I like how tangy and just rightly salty it tastes, not as in your face salty as most kinds of cheddar cheese.
Spinach Feta Scrolls
Of all the feta-containing Mediterranean-style pastries I came across, I think this was one of my favourites. I am a sucker for filled pastries, and I am a sucker for the spinach-feta combination. So when I cam across this recipe on Souvlaki for the Soul, I immediately decided I needed to make this. (And really, with all his amazing photos on his blog, I constantly feel like making everything from there.)
The pastry was buttery fantastic-ness and super easy to work with. Paired with the winning combination of spinach and feta, I was expecting this to knock me off my feet. I would like to say I really loved it, but because I ended up putting a lot more walnuts than indicated in the recipe, the scrolls tasted more like walnuts with a salty kick rather than anything else. It was delicious fresh, still hot from the oven, and crunchy, with the cheese oozing and flavourful… But only if I picked out the chunks of walnuts first. I simply am not a fan of walnuts and could not get past how glaringly the scrolls tasted like them.
To solve this problem, I dipped my scrolls in Sriracha sauce and it worked, like magic! So my advise to you (especially, if like me, you don’t care much for walnuts) is to stick with the measurements in the recipe. Do not go overboard with the walnuts, but the cheese and spinach might be a different matter. I feel like the scrolls could benefit from a bit more spinach flavour, but that’s just my veggie-loving side talking.
Feta Basil Muffins
It wasn’t until after I made these muffins that I found out they were actually adapted from one of my new cookbooks; one that I foresee will become another of my most-abused cookbooks. And because I really loved how this modified version turned out, I decided to feature them here. I’ve no doubt the original will make an appearance on the blog sometime soon, and by the sound of it -feta, roasted pepper and basil!- it will merit a full-on feature. But let us get back to the muffin on hand.
I came across this recipe on Teenie Cakes but I didn’t read the post as thoroughly as I did after baking (which is why I didn’t know that it was from the book). I was just too excited because I already had ideas about how amazing these were going to taste, and boy did it not disappoint! The Teenie Cakes version is made with thyme, which I did not have, so I decided to make it with dried basil, which I never seem to run out of.
These muffins were absolutely perfect! I loooove how fantastic they smelled as they baked. The taste of the muffins themselves is mild, and yet they have this magnificent, salty and herby flavour that makes eating piece after piece so effortless! It’s the sort of muffin you do not grow tired of. The dried basil leaves a very clear aftertaste, and the feta was there to add a salty dimension to the muffins. You can take this up a notch by spreading on some herbed butter. The muffins are easy enough to make that you can adapt as you please, using your favourite herb or a combination thereof.