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Feta is a very versatile cheese and can be used in a wide array of different salads ranging from light vegetable salads to sweet fruit salads. Some of the most common varieties of feta salad combine this cheese with fresh vegetables and a light oil and vinegar dressing. Other rich savory salads make use of feta in conjunction with olives, meat products, or cooked vegetables. The salty tang of feta can also be used as a counterpoint to accentuate the sweet flavors of fresh fruit, and this sort of feta salad can easily serve as a light summer dessert.
Greek cooking makes use of feta cheese in many different ways. This cheese is traditionally made from the milk of sheep and goats, although some other types of feta have been marketed. It is stored in brine, which adds a notably salty flavor to the finished cheese. Feta’s combination of the richness of cheese with the saltiness produced by the preservation in brine allows it to function in a wide variety of different salad recipes.
Many types of cheese can be used to add some satisfying fat content to vegetable salads. A feta salad built around vegetables will most often use products that are mainstays of the Mediterranean world. Spinach, tomato, and onion are all commonly used in this sort of feta salad. Other salty flavors may be blended together with feta to add flavor to a vegetable salad. Kalamata olives or pickled artichoke hearts, for example, go well with feta in this sort of recipe.
Rich and savory salads are also often made using feta cheese. Salads containing chicken or other cooked meats can be topped with feta, whose flavor remains strong and pleasant when melted. A feta salad is often also built on a pasta base. These salads may employ many of the same fresh ingredients found in a vegetable feta salad, but with pasta and perhaps a creamy dressing.
Fruit salads are sometimes made using feta cheese. Sweet flavors and salty flavors tend to complement one another, and dishes that combine both are often more satisfying than those that emphasize one flavor or the other. A feta salad may consist of fresh fruit or berries topped with a sprinkling of feta cheese. This pairing of feta and naturally sweet, ripe fruit serves to accentuate the individual flavors of each part of the salad. Other elements, including slivered nuts, greens, or even other cheeses may be added to this type of salad to further enhance the flavor.