We’re loving the recipes from the Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese cookbook, straight from Philadelphia’s oldest cheese counter. Madame Fromage herself, Tenaya Darlington, penned this collection of phenomenal preparations. First up, tangy feta cheese gets tangier for a sweet and briny strawberry salad.
Briny feta is pickled, then tossed with plump olives and strawberries for a bright, juicy salad. Since the feta needs five days to cure in the fridge, this is a great make-ahead dish. Use Greek feta if you want neat cubes; Bulgarian feta is divine, but it needs to be handled carefully as it’s very soft and crumbly. Whip up this recipe for a picnic, or serve it after a day on the beach when salt and sun are still on everyone’s mind. Glasses of Prosecco or Saison are a perfect accompaniment.
- 3 cups Champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1 medium shallot, sliced
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- 4 sprigs cilantro
- 2 pounds feta, diced or crumbled (roughly 6 1/2 cups)
- 1 pound Cerignola olives (red, pitted and cut in half
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in quarters
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 12 ounces baby spinach
- salt and white pepper
For the pickle:
- Combine the vinegar, 3 cups of water, sugar, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, shallot, garlic and cilantro in a small saucepan.
- Bring the pickling liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer and allow the contents to cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool completely.
- Place the feta in a large mixing bowl or divide it between two 1-quart jars, and pour the cool pickling solution over the cheese.
- Make sure all of the feta is completely submerged. (If you use quart jars, you will have a little bit of extra brine left over, which you can use for a salad dressing.)
- Cover the feta and refrigerate it for at least five days.
For the salad:
- Remove the pickled feta from the liquid and drain it on paper towels.
- In a salad bowl, toss together the olives, strawberries, olive oil, chopped cilantro and spinach.
- Stir in the feta, then season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Note: This dish should be served fresh as the strawberries will begin to break down and lose color over time. Use any leftover pickling solution to drizzle over salad greens.
Try out these summer salads on Food Republic: