I am currently writing Christmas recipes for you all to enjoy this upcoming holiday season. Greece is in another lockdown for weeks to come, so I have enough time to experiment in the kitchen for the most beautiful time of the year. Instead of the usual warm dish, I offer you this cold recipe with a lot of Greekness in it: Feta ice cream! The basic ingredients are Greek yoghurt and feta. You will never believe the dream I had that inspired me to make this recipe….
…It was two weeks before Christmas and there was a lot of snow, everything around me was white..
I was driving a beautiful old car to visit friends, with the Christmas tree I had just bought tied on the roof. But it wasn’t the only thing tied to the roof…When my friends asked me to bring some of our tasty feta, I took feta blocks that were big enough to build a house. That was me making sure I had enough. The only place it would fit was on the roof with the Christmas tree!
A feta Christmas
After a lovely dinner with my friends and lots of feta, I drove back home. Christmas music filled my car as I was singing along, when I suddenly noticed a change in the surroundings; The snow was getting heavier and heavier. I opened my window and fell silent; it was snowing feta! Yes, my friends, it was snowing white delicious feta!
The feta snow was so thick that my little old and overloaded car got stuck in it! Maybe I should have panicked in such a weird dream, but instead all kinds of feta recipes came to mind and I started singing Christmas songs like “I am dreaming of a feta Christmas” and “Let it feta, let it feta, let it feta!”
I woke up with the taste of feta in my mouth, still hearing my own false singing voice. I knew what I had to do; All this feta snow inspired me to make feta ice-cream! My dear and gifted friend Annette produced the most beautiful pictures of my dream, as if she was there with me. Maybe she was…
Let’s talk feta for a moment. It’s the most famous Greek cheese and rarely will you open a refrigerator in a Greek house and find no feta in it. Most often you will find 2 different types and usually in a special container with salty water that helps preserve the feta. We use it in or next to almost all the dishes and we love it. Life can only be better with some feta in it.
Greek yoghurt is the other ingredient that is always available in every Greek refrigerator. Like the cheese in a Dutch home and the baked beans in an English home, a friend of mine told me. During the week we share it with friends that pass by and when there is some left at the end of the week we tend to become inventive and use the yoghurt in a cake or pie or in a nice ice cream.
Sweet and salty
Feta ice cream is sweet and salty at the same time, very much like life itself. It is easy to make and even easier to eat. You can use it as a dessert with homemade marmalade (I used ours to test on my husband and he loved it), or a tea spoon sweet, like the one with grapes. For the holidays I suggest a red fruit marmalade that tastes nice and looks festive; The white ice cream is like snow and the marmalade creates a beautiful contrast. It’s also great to sprinkle red fruit like pomegranate seeds on top or add some lovely honey.
Feta ice cream
To change the rules of the game a little, instead of as a dessert I eat the feta ice cream as a starter. The saltiness of the feta cheese and the fullness of the Greek yogurt are very interesting for this course. You can also serve it plain in between courses or top it up with crispy bacon chips. It is up to you to create your own paradise. Try to find a nice feta and a good Greek yoghurt for this recipe.
“Let it feta, let it feta, let it feta!”
Photography: Annette Spaan
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