Herb-Infused Olive Oil Marinated Feta Cheese with Kalamata Olives

Walking into the local fish shop this morning, we perused the bountiful offerings, deciding the swordfish looked the freshest. Supper tonight will be swordfish marinated in homemade mayonnaise and then tossed on the grill, served with a zesty tapenade of anchovy, capers, Kalamata olives, garlic, good olive oil from Isole e Olena in Tuscany, lemon zest and fresh herbs (rosemary, basil and parsley) with a side of crisp green beans. We need to squeeze every ounce of life from the outdoor grill before it becomes too cold to venture outside, so the swordfish will do quite nicely.

A deep blue sky beckoned us to take a nice long walk by the beach today, but instead a capricious and blustery breeze causing leaves to go every which way inspired us to go home and cook. Blue sky, leaves falling from the trees like giant snowflakes, and church bells ringing in the background. Today is definitely an Autumn day in New England.

The produce store had beautiful locally grown Russian kale which quickly ended up in my basket, along with red Kuri squash, Kabocha squash, and some Greek feta. Mediterranean flavors were speaking out strongly to me on such a lovely day.

Upon reaching home, I made a hot olive oil marinade for the feta with freshly chopped oregano and thyme from the garden, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and red pepper flakes, along with some Kalamata olives tossed in. An hour later the feta was still warm in the oil and it literally melted in the mouth. Absolutely delicious and oh so simple. Next time I would serve this with some homemade olive oil crackers.

Herb-Infused Olive Oil Marinated Feta Cheese with Kalamata Olives

1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves, minced
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, torn from their stems
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 block of feta cheese, cut into cubes
½ cup Kalamata olives

Heat the olive oil, garlic, oregano, thyme, lemon zest and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over low heat for 20 minutes. The oil needs to infuse with the flavors, so don’t allow it to boil. Once the oil is infused with the herbs and garlic remove from the heat and pour over the feta and olives. Cover and let sit until it reaches room temperature. Serve it alongside pepperoncini or simply eat it with crusty bread.

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