I love fetta’s salty tang, especially when it’s combined with cooling cucumber. Traditional Greek Feta is made from sheep milk, sometimes with a little goat milk added; it has PDO status meaning only cheese produced to specific criteria within a certain part of Greece can now be called “Feta”. Similar brined white sheep milk cheese has been made all over the Balkans and Middle East since antiquity, however. One of my favourites is sirene from Bulgaria, what we used to call ‘Bulgarian feta’ and is now simply sold as ‘white sheep milk cheese’. It’s available in tubs from Middle Eastern grocers and is great to have on hand in the fridge to add tang to all sorts of dishes, including this delicious cucumber, fetta and tomato salad. I often serve this salad alongside grilled meat, but also like it as a light meal with some crusty bread and a glass of rosé. Crittenden Estate pinot noir rosé is a beauty, saignée style, lean and minerally with a great creamy mouthfeel that’s perfect with the tangy ‘fetta’.
Serves 4 as a side dish
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers
- 150g brined white sheep cheese, crumbled
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 100g grape tomatoes
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Crusty bread, for serving
- Quarter cucumbers lengthways then cut into chunks.
- Toss with cheese, arrange on a platter and drizzle with oil.
- Halve or quarter tomatoes (depending on their size) and scatter over the cucumber mixture.
- Drizzle generously with oil and sprinkle with pepper.
- Serve with crusty bread.