Macadamia ‘Feta’

I developed this vegan feta to recreate the crumbly, rich, and creamy textures and flavours of sheep and goat feta cheese using macadamia nuts. Macadamia feta can be used in lots of recipes. It’s especially good in my Macadamia Feta and Herb Scones, or enjoyed on pizzas, salads, and pastas. The process takes at least four days, so plan accordingly.

Makes about 500g/2 cups

Gluten free
Wheat free
Freezable
Kids recipe

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Preparation time

20 min

Cook time

56 hr

Total time

3380

Cuisine

Mediterranean

Meal

  • lunches
  • sides-light-meals-and-salads

Ingredients

Feta

  • 150g/1¼ cups natural macadamia nuts
  • 550g/2¼ cups filtered water, divided
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 50g (¼ cup) lemon juice
  • 5g garlic (2 cloves)
  • 20g/3½ tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2.5g/½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 5g/2 tbsp agar-agar flakes or powder

Brine

  • 1kg/4¼ cups filtered water
  • 50g/¼ cup fine sea salt

Instructions

Prepare the feta

  1. Place the macadamia nuts in a 1L (4-cup) glass jar or other container. Add 300g (1¼ cups) of the filtered water. Cover and let soak in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next morning, prepare a rectangular plastic or glass container with a lid, approximately 5½ × 3½ × 1½ inches (14 × 9 × 4cm) to set the feta in. Lightly spray or wipe the inside with extra-virgin olive oil, then line it with a sheet of plastic wrap, pressing into all the corners and stretching out as many creases as possible.
  3. Drain the nuts and transfer to a high-speed blender. Add the remaining 250g (1 cup) filtered water, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, nutritional yeast, and salt. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds, then slowly increase to high speed, blending until the creamy mixture is smooth and beginning to heat, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the agar-agar. Blend, starting on low speed and slowly increasing to high, for about 4 minutes to activate the setting properties of the agar-agar. The cream will be very hot. Pour the cream mixture into the prepared container and let cool for 15 minutes. Cover the container with the lid and place in the fridge to set overnight.

Meanwhile, prepare the brine

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the 1kg (4¼ cups) filtered water to a boil, then add the salt. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Pour the cooled brine into a container large enough to fit the slab of feta, cover, and set aside in the fridge overnight.

Brine the feta

  1. The next morning, remove the feta from the fridge. Using the plastic wrap as handles, gently lift the set feta from the container and transfer it to the chilled brine container (ensuring that the feta is submerged in the brine). Cover and return to the fridge for at least 2 days and up to 5 days, depending how firm or salty you like your feta.
  2. Once the feta is brined to your liking, gently remove it from the brine (discarding the brine) and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.
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