Is there anything that I can substitute besides salt for the feta cheese to make it dairy free?



ATG117 July 15, 2012
I was thinking olives would be nice, preferably not the jarred spanish ones, but anything that has a bit of a more subtle and refined flavor. If you just wanted another textural (protein) element, you could also add in some small cubes of sauteed tofu or chickpeas.
BoulderGalinTokyo July 14, 2012
Just throwing this idea out there--but it works in place of preserved lemons sometimes. How about a pickled plum (umeboshi)? Buy the big, fat, juicy ones, not the kind that is small and hard. You would need just one. Slice all the fruit off around the seed and mince. Works well in many salad dressings.
the P. July 14, 2012
@knitter320 - I added the feta because I thought a little salty bite now and then would be a nice addition to the recipe. But you could certainly leave it out and I think it would still be really good. The beets have a similar texture to the feta, and the pine nuts add a nice crunch - so if your pasta water is well seasoned, the orzo should have enough of the salty element on it's own.

With that said, I really love the pickled vegetable and preserved lemon idea too! I would just caution you not to go too overboard as they could easily overwhelm the dish. Just a bit would do.

I also came across this recipe for Vegan Feta Cheese online. I haven't tried it myself, so I can't vouch for it's taste, but it may be worth a try?
Burnt O. July 13, 2012
I had to cater a Greek dinner party recently for 8 people - two of which were vegan. I actually had luck with a recipe for tofu feta. You marinated firm tofu in a marinade of rice wine vinegar, salt and a mild, blond miso. It was surprisingly decent.
Reiney July 13, 2012
I like the preserved lemons idea. Also / alternatively you could add some kind of pickle, like cucumber or carrot.
knitter320 July 12, 2012
Thanks so much! What an awesome idea!
Sam1148 July 12, 2012
That's a tough one. I'd steer clear of any 'dairy free' feta subs.

Maybe, a table spoon of preserved lemons sliced thin and chopped fine would work--if you have those on hand. There's some quick preserved lemon recipes on the web. Which would still a take a couple of hours to make.
Mayer lemons would be best but they're a bit out of season now. Or a thin skin Persian lemon.
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