Cave to Co-op, May 2022

This Month’s Selection:

MARINATED FETA from WEST RIVER CREAMERY, LONDONDERRY, VT

A crumbly and flavorful pasteurized cow milk cheese, rindless in flavored oil.


West River Creamery is nestled between three mountains in Londonderry, VT.

Charlie and Jane Parant the owners and cheesemakers of West River Creamery have always been involved in agriculture and have been making cheese since the 1980’s. Originally making cheese at Middletown Farm and buying sheep milk from a New York sheep co-op, Charlie and Jane like so many had to pivot to making cheese at a different dairy after the farm changed hands.

A variety of goat, cow, and sheep milk cheeses are produced at this small family operation where Charlie and Jane, and their adult children, Mathew and Allison, are involved in all areas of production, marketing, and affiance. Charlie and Jane use a traditional feta recipe where the cheese is brined for several months before being packaged in marinade and sold.

West River Marinated Feta is made from pasteurized, Guernsey cow milk; marinated in grapeseed oil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. It's the perfect feta for summer salads!

Check out the following recipes using West River Creamery's Marinated Feta in creative and delicious ways!


Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Marinated Feta and Olives

Makes a fantastic summer appetizer!

  • 5 red peppers, quartered lengthways with stem, pith & seeds discarded
  • 2 to 3 vine tomatoes, halved
  • 1 red chili, stem removed
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 oz. blanched almonds, well-toasted and roughly chopped
  • 6 oz. West River Marinated Feta, roughly crumbled
  • 1 tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds, toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar
  • 1 lemon, segmented
  • 2 oz. pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • 1½ tbsp. cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 465º F.

  2. Add the pepper quarters, tomatoes, chili, onion, 2 tablespoons of oil from the marinated feta, a ½ tsp. of salt and plenty of pepper to a large oven tray lined with baking paper, then toss to combine.

  3. Roast the tray for 20 minutes and remove. Give everything a stir, then add the garlic cloves and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes more or until everything is softened and colored. Leave out to cool.

  4. Peel the peppers and tomatoes, then discard the skins.

  5. Transfer everything to a food processor, then add the almonds, feta, half of your ground toasted spices, a ¼ tsp. of salt, a good grind of pepper, and an additional 2 tbsp. of oil from the marinated feta, then blitz smooth. Refrigerate and allow to cool completely (and set slightly).

  6. Meanwhile, use a small, sharp knife to trim the top and tail off of the lemon. Cut down along its round curves, removing the skin and white pith as you go. Release the segments from the lemon by slicing between the membranes, then roughly chop each segment into 2 or 3 pieces.

  7. Put the lemon pieces in a bowl with the olives, coriander, the remaining ground toasted spices, and the remaining 2 tbsp. of oil, then mix to combine.

  8. To serve, spread the dip on to a wide, shallow plate and spoon the olive mixture into the center.


Endive Cups with Beets, Persimmon and Marinated Feta

Serves ~4

  • 1 cup crumbled West River Marinated Feta
  • 2 medium golden or red beets
  • 3 ripe Fuyu persimmons
  • 1 ½ tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • A pinch of sugar (optional)
  • 8 heads Belgian endive
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Torn fresh mint (for garnish)

Directions:

DO AHEAD: The beets can be cooked up to 3 days in advance and refrigerated.

  1. Let the cheese sit at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

  2. In a small saucepan, boil the beets in salted water until fork-tender, or about 20 to 25 minutes (do not overcook; they should still have a bit of firmness to them).

  3. Let your beets cool, then slip off the skins with your finger, cut them into ½-inch cubes, and place them into a medium-sized bowl.

  4. Cut the tops and bottoms off the persimmons, then run a knife between the peel and the flesh to cut off the peel. Cut the flesh into ½-inch cubes and add to the bowl with the beets.
  5. Add lemon juice, zest, oil, salt and pepper to the beet mixture, then toss to combine. Let it stand for 15 minutes to let the flavors meld, then taste and adjust the seasoning as needed (keep in mind the cheese will add some salt to your dish). Depending on the sweetness of your lemon, you may want to add a pinch of sugar.

  6. Meanwhile, cut the bottom ends off your endive heads to separate the leaves. With a sharp knife, cut a tiny bit off the curved underside of each leaf so that the endive cup lies flat.

  7. Place a heaping teaspoon of cheese in each leaf, then spoon a bit of beet-persimmon salad over the tops.

  8. Garnish with torn mint and serve.


Artichoke and Marinated Feta Tart

Serves ~4

  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz. West River Marinated Feta, divided
  • 14 oz. sheet *or* 17.3 oz. package of puff pastry, thawed in fridge
  • Flour
  • 2 x 4 oz. jars of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and halved
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Blend cream and 2 oz. of feta in a food processor until smooth, then season with salt and pepper.

  3. If using a 14 oz. sheet of puff pastry: Cut it in half and roll out each side on a lightly floured surface into a 16×10″ rectangle.

    If using a 17.3 oz. package of puff pastry: Use 1 sheet of pastry for each tart.

  4. Transfer each piece of pastry to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a paring knife, lightly score pastry (do not cut all the way through), leaving a 1″ border.

  5. Spread your feta mixture over the pastry, dividing it evenly and staying within the borders.

  6. Arrange artichoke hearts over the feta mixture and crumble the remaining 2 oz. of West River Marinated Feta over the top. Drizzle it with oil and brush the pastry border with an egg wash.

  7. Bake the tart until your pastry is puffed out and beginning to brown, or about 10 to 15 minutes.

  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and continue baking until your pastry is a deep, golden brown and cooked through, or about 20 to 25 more minutes.

  9. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Classic Feta Dip

Makes a fantastic summer appetizer!

  • 6 oz. West River Marinated Feta
  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, finely chopped (plus torn sprigs for serving)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 3 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine all of your ingredients in a food processor.

  2. Blend the mixture until smooth and creamy, adding olive oil as you go until the desired texture is achieved.

  3. Put the dip into a bowl and garnish it with a grind of peppers and a sprig of dill.

  4. Serve with bread, pita, crackers, or fresh veggies!



Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provision International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support local, artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers.  The NFCA is a network of more than 35 food co-ops in our region — including yours — that are working together to advance their vision of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.  For more information, please visit www.nfca.coop.