Mix this cheese into your next pesto for even more flavors

Pesto is the perfect summer sauce, with its light texture and fresh taste you just can’t beat it. The beauty of pesto is that it can be prepared in many ways, with a number of culinary touches that enhance it while customizing it to your tastes. The substitution everyone should try this summer is replacing traditional parmesan with tangy feta.

Traditional pesto is a delicious blend of basil, pine nuts, garlic and other aromatics, olive oil and parmesan. Since pesto is already made with cheese, it’s easy to incorporate feta into your recipe. Not to mention that this strongly flavored cheese will add a salty and tasty touch to your sauce. But what exactly is feta? Feta comes in many varieties, including the traditional Greek one made from sheep’s milk, as well as others from around the world that use cow’s milk. If you can find feta made in Greece, you’ll be eating the real deal, and while the price may be higher, the richer flavor and creamy texture are worth it. If you can’t get your hands on authentic Greek feta, any other type of feta would still be a great addition to your homemade pesto.

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Why feta is perfect for pesto

whole and crumbled feta cheese – Candice Bell/Getty Images

Feta cheese is soft and crumbly with a salty, tangy flavor that comes from maturing in brine. The texture of feta is quite different from the usual pesto parmesan, which is firm and grainy. While parmesan packs a complex umami punch, the mild nature and bold flavor of feta make it a great replacement.

To incorporate feta into your pesto, follow the usual recipe and mix your feta with the other ingredients as directed. Feta’s softer construction makes it easy to mix, and you can add more or less depending on your desired saltiness level. Typically, feta is added to the mixture as one of the last steps and blended until smooth. For presentation reasons, you can add some crumbles on top. You can also continue to jazz up this Greek-inspired version of the Italian classic by adding a good amount of spinach along with the basil, creating a similar flavor profile to the Greek classic, spanakopita.

How to use and store your feta pesto

Pasta salad with pesto and feta

Pasta salad with pesto and feta – DronG/Shutterstock

A summer pasta salad with whole wheat pesto is the perfect dish to use up your feta pesto. You retain the glorious taste of pesto pasta and add a touch of feta while creating a fresh dish for hot weather. You can also use feta pesto as a sauce on pizza or on baked salmon. It’s the perfect spread for a rotisserie chicken sandwich, or use it as an enhancement to your deviled egg topping.

Another benefit of pesto is that it stores easily, either in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator or frozen for up to six months. A tip for freezing pesto in single-use batches is to pour it into an ice cube tray and let it freeze in small portions. Once frozen, you can remove the pesto cubes from the tray and store them in a ziploc bag.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.

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