orange and fennel marinated feta

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~ orange and fennel marinated feta ~

I discovered this lovely recipe in Ellie Krieger’s cookbook, The Food You Crave, and immediately fell in love. She incorporates some ofย  my favorite flavors into one cute little appetizer. Slight problem though. The original recipe says to skewer a mint leaf, then a chunk of cucumber, next a green olive, and finally a cube of feta that is suppose to play nice and sit flat on the plate. Well, all would have worked out swimmingly had the feta cooperated. Instead, the feta wanted to split down the middle every time I pierced it with a skewer. This resulted in me running around like a nut trying to take a picture of these (BEAUTIFUL) skewers before they fell over. I felt like Lucille Ball. Oh. And the poor cheese. You have never heard so many expletives flung at a dairy product. Poor little cheese cubes. (son of a…)

Anyhoo…I decided to give up on the idea of the beautiful skewer. First of all, I don’t like to post recipes that didn’t actually work for me, with a gorgeous picture attached, as if they had. I am, after all, not Martha. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not that I don’t LOVE her. I do. I have also made several dozen of her recipes that have not turned out and I am quite sure that it wasn’t my fault. But, I digress.

So, here you have my version of Ellie’s recipe. I have the sneaking suspicion that she used way bigger cheese cubes than the recipe would have you believe. Either that or the girl has magic cheese.

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

3-4 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

juice of one half orange

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon cracked peppercorns

4 oz. feta cheese cut into 20, 1/2 inch cubes (or bigger!)

24 fresh mint leaves, muddled with the orange juice, more for garnish

24 pitted green olives

1/4 large English cucumber, sliced thin

In a medium bowl, combine the fennel seeds, orange zest, orange juice, olive oil and pepper. Gently stir in the feta and marinate for 1-3 hours in the fridge.

Return the cheese to room temperature (place on counter) one hour prior to serving. Serve with the olives, cucumber slices, mint leaves, a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of the marinade on your favorite crackers or French baguette.

Enjoy!

~Melissa

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  17 comments for “orange and fennel marinated feta

  1. January 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Feta is my favorite appetizer ingredient and this appetizer is definitely being added to my list! Love the orange, fennel, pepper and mint. What a great combination of flavors to got with feta! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Melissa
      January 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      you’re welcome my sweet M.j. ! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. January 27, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    This is a gorgeous blog, Melissa! I love what you do here and how pretty your blog is… You have a new follower in me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Melissa
      January 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      Aw! thanks! you’re a honey. xo

  3. January 27, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    And the flavors in this salad sound delicious! I love orange and fennel salads, but have never tried it with feta… sounds interesting! Must try it sometime ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

    • Melissa
      January 27, 2012 at 8:41 pm

      unbelievably good. the hubby and i are in the kitchen making yummy noises ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

  4. January 27, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    You know I’m your biggest fan..why? Because you always think outside the box!! xoxo Ally

    • Melissa
      January 27, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      This is such an amazing compliment. And from YOU (Master Chef) I am truly flattered. LOVE your blog and recipes. Thanks for the love. xo

  5. January 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Hey, forget, Chef Ramsay! I know talent!! xoxo <3

    • Melissa
      January 27, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Hee hee! I know you do! *blush* xo

  6. January 27, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as yours! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Melissa
      January 27, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      aw! well, toss them gently and add plenty of orange zest ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

  7. Kimber
    January 30, 2012 at 11:56 am

    First, this looks really yummy!! I love feta and think I might try this!! Second, you are definitely no Martha – you’re too sweet, kind and thoughtful!!! And I suspect you are better in the kitchen than she is!!

    • Melissa
      January 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      aw! thanks Kimber ๐Ÿ™‚ this is a yummy cheese treat, and feta fits right into a healthy lifestyle. The soft cheeses like feta and montrachet are lower in fat than hard cheeses, but still pack a lot of flavor. enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. February 1, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I didn’t think feta could get any better!!! Delish recipe! What amazing flavors you have going on here!

    • Melissa
      February 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      We like to have cheese and baguette with a good bottle of wine on our date nights. This is awesome, and much better for you than hard cheeses, and I don’t miss the other stuff one bit! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for commenting, Amee!

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