vegan sub for feta?

We're having guests over for dinner this weekend, one of whom is vegan. I thought I would make Yotam Ottolenghi's sweet corn polenta with eggplant sauce, since I love the dish and it seems pretty easily adaptable to vegan restrictions. The one thing I'm stuck on is whether I can find something to sub for the feta in the polenta. I realize that I could leave it out entirely but I'd prefer, if possible, to find some other way of providing the tangy, salty pop that the feta provides. I'd also prefer, if possible, to use something that is not a dairy-substitute product specifically (I'm not a great fan of the taste/texture of these generally), but rather an ingredient that will satisfy the function of the feta that just happens to be vegan. If I can't find one, I'll probably just leave it out, but I thought I'd put it out there to see what you all could come up with. Thanks in advance!

Kristen W.


Lena W. October 16, 2013
Simply tofu? Maybe fried with a pinch of sumac.
HalfPint October 15, 2013
Here's a link about feta substitute for someone allergic to dairy,
Kristen W. October 15, 2013
You just gave me a great idea, E. Burton -- I happen to have some preserved lemon on hand, and I think that would work great! Thanks, what a great community to brainstorm with!
E. B. October 15, 2013
Sounds good! Have fun cooking!
E. B. October 15, 2013
Like ceeteebee's suggestion, my ideas wouldn't add creaminess. When I think of veggie ingredients that have a salty/sour/fermented tang, I think of marinated veggies-capers, olives, certain marinated pickles or artichoke hearts. You could blend them into a bit of a paste to make them distribute better instead of being chunky in the polenta.
Kristen W. October 15, 2013
Interesting idea, ceeteebee -- I never would have thought of that. Thanks for the input.
ceeteebee October 15, 2013
It wouldn't be quite the same as feta, but maybe sumac (which has a great tangy taste) if it isn't included already in the recipe's ingredients? (though, obviously, since it's a spice, it wouldn't add any of the creaminess of feta).
Recommended by Food52