It might seem weird to put quotes around a possessive here for “my” salad dressing. No, I promise you I do know how to use quotation marks, mostly (someone tell me definitively, do I put the punctuation inside or outside when I’m ending a sentence?). But really, I put the quotes in because I associate ownership of this recipe more with David Lebovitz. It was from his blog where I first got the idea to repurpose leftover salty feta into a salad dressing, and after rereading that post, now I know he actually got the idea from the Joy of Cooking.
You can follow that attribution chain if you like, but on this blog, the ownership of this dressing was bestowed on me by my brother in law, Ryan, who requested I make this dressing during a visit to Boston by asking for “your salad dressing, you know, that one you made one time!”
No, I didn’t know! I have a salad dressing?? Apparently, yes!
That “one time” was way back in December 2017, when I wanted to make a creamy dressing for a wedge salad, but neither I nor my sister like blue cheese dressing, so I needed a substitute, and Claire had some feta in her fridge. I added some vinegar, herbs, and olive oil and blended it all up, and I guess “my dressing” was born.
And really, it doesn’t matter who lays claim to owning this recipe, everyone should be making it! If you make anything with feta you probably have some leftover, and the rest of the ingredients can be whatever favorite vinegars, olive oils, and dried or fresh herbs you have on hand, plus a little ground pepper if you like. I add shallots whenever I have them. And you can even keep it simple and just mash it all into a chunky dressing or go the extra step and blend it until creamy, both are equally delicious.
Whatever you do, just use the good stuff, ok? That pre-crumbled feta isn’t going to work very well here. If you do insist on using it, well, you are the master of your own kitchen, so I can’t stop you.
But in that case, we’ll extend this ownership chain and you can call that “your” dressing, ok?
Feta Salad Dressing
Inspired by David Lebovitz
4 oz feta (a good quality block of it, not pre-crumbled)
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano (or thyme, parsley, etc)
fresh ground black pepper
vinegar (sherry, apple cider, red wine, whatever your preference)
extra virgin olive oil
In a bowl, add the feta, shallot and oregano and mash together. Add a little black pepper, then add vinegar, mashing as you add it until you get a loose paste-like consistency. Add in enough olive oil to form a liquid dressing, loosening with a little water if needed (or more vinegar). At this point, you can either serve as is, with small feta chunks visible, or blend the dressing to a creamy, smooth consistency.
To serve, toss with your favorite salad ingredients. The dressing works well as a sub for blue cheese dressing in a wedge salad. I especially like it tossed with fragile butter lettuce, radishes sliced paper thin, chives, and sliced avocado, pictured here above.