Three scrumptious recipes feta cheese addicts will adore

18 February 2021 - 06:30
Feta-stuffed lamb burgers.
Feta-stuffed lamb burgers.
Image: Sunday Times Food archives

Hooked on the simple and delicious baked feta pasta that went viral on TikTok? Here's how to make some other dishes where this versatile Greek cheese is the star of the show:

FETA-STUFFED LAMB BURGERS

These juicy burger patties have a surprise in the centre: a melty feta cheese filling

Makes: 4

Ingredients:

2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed

500g lamb mince

1 large onion, grated

5ml (1 tsp) ground cumin

5ml (1 tsp) ground coriander

45ml (3 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

200g feta 

30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

Rolls and ready-made tzatziki, to serve

Method:

  1. Combine the bread, mince, onion, spices, parsley and seasoning.
  2. Wet your hands and shape into 4 patties.
  3. Divide the feta into 4, make a hollow in the centre of each patty, fill with feta and reshape to enclose the filling.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the patties over medium heat for 5-7 minutes per side.
  6. Serve on rolls with salad and tzatziki. 

Variation: You can also enliven meatballs by stuffing them with feta; this is particularly good with mince that's a little fatty and not too lean. Chill the stuffed meatballs for 15 minutes before frying them in a little oil and serving them with a homemade tomato sauce.

FETA-AND-COURGETTE-STUFFED MUSHROOMS

A quick and yummy idea for a light vegetarian lunch or starter. You can add some chopped bacon or chorizo to the mix for meat lovers if desired

Makes: 6

6 large brown mushrooms

Olive oil, for frying and drizzling

Butter, for frying

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 large courgettes, grated

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 - 2 discs feta cheese, chopped (depending on how cheesy you'd like the final dish)

Method:

  1. Gently break the stems off the mushrooms and finely chop them. Set the mushroom caps aside.
  2. Preheat a frying pan adding a splash of olive oil and knob of butter. Add the chopped mushroom stems together with the onions and garlic and cook till just softened. (You can add some chopped bacon or chorizo at this stage, if desired).
  3. Add the grated courgettes to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Season generously, remove from the stove and add the feta.
  5. Place the mushrooms caps on a baking tray. Divide the stuffing mixture between them, drizzle over a little olive oil and either bake in a preheated oven of 180°C for 20-30 mins or cook under a preheated grill.
Feta-stuffed phyllo parcels.
Feta-stuffed phyllo parcels.
Image: 123RF/Alena Butouskaya

FETA-STUFFED PHYLLO PARCELS

Served with a drizzle of honey, these parcels are good for brunch, lunch or light supper, and even as an appetiser.

Makes: 6

Ingredients:

3 sheets phyllo pastry, thawed

6 rectangular pieces of feta cheese (about 2cm wide and 5cm long)

Melted butter, for brushing

Oil, for frying

Sesame seeds, to garnish

Runny honey, to serve

Method:

  1. Cut the sheets of phyllo pastry in half vertically. 
  2. Working with half a sheet of pastry at a time, brush the phyllo with melted butter and place a piece of feta cheese at one end. Fold over the sides to cover the cheese, then roll up in the pastry. Brush with extra melted butter.
  3. Fry the parcels in a little oil until golden on one side, then turn and fry on the other side.
  4. Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve warm with a drizzle of honey.

Variation: You can top the feta cheese with the flavouring of your choice before rolling it up in the phyllo pastry. Think a smear of basil pesto and some finely-chopped sun-dried tomatoes, or a mixture of finely-chopped garlic and parsley. For those who like their food hot and spicy, spread the cheese with a little chilli paste or add some finely-chopped fresh chilli.