Oil is a remarkable preservative and has long been used to store vegetables, herbs and cheeses, especially in the Mediterranean where olive oil is plentiful and cheap. Foods preserved in oil will keep for months without refrigeration, as long as they are kept in a cool, dark place to prevent spoilage. One of the benefits of preserving food in oil, especially herbs and garlic, is that the oil becomes deeply flavorful and is wonderful to use for dipping, on salads and as a finishing oil for soups. —Jess Schreibstein
or more of feta packed in brine and strained
1 to 2 cups
extra virgin olive oil
cloves raw or roasted garlic (see note)
sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into ribbons
rosemary and any other woody herbs you prefer, such as oregano or thyme
Break up the feta into 1-inch chunks. In a sterilized pint jar, layer the feta, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs so they are evenly dispersed in the jar. Pour in the olive oil to completely submerge the feta and herbs. (Anything left above the oil will spoil.)
Because of the risk of garlic's low-acidity, it is possible for spores causing botulism, a serious foodborne disease, to develop. To inhibit the spores' development, feta should *not* be kept at room temperature and should be stored in the refrigerator for no longer than three weeks, but can be frozen for several months. To avoid contamination, only use a clean utensil to dip into your delicious feta. For more information on botulism, refer to the CDC's website. Use in salads, pasta, frittatas or however else you might use feta.
Note: To roast a head of garlic, brush the full head with olive oil and bake in a small casserole dish in an oven set to 375 F for 30 minutes until soft.