Five ways to use white cheese

To many people, feta and white cheese are mainly associated with summer salads and Greek cuisine. But white cheese has so many more uses, from substituting the cheese in your favourite dishes to pepping up your sweet desserts with a salty twist. In fact, only your imagination sets the limit – because you can add white cheese to almost anything.

Dip

First of all, did you know that white cheese is the perfect base for a creamy and tasty dip? If you think that white cheese is a bit heavy and high in calories to use as a dip, just use one of the many light varieties. Not only do you get a lighter dip, but the light products also have a very creamy texture and are therefore a perfect choice for a cheese dip.
You simply take a large piece of cheese, use a fork to mash it up, add a dollop of sour cream, yoghurt or something similar. Then you can spice up your dip with anything you like. I prefer fresh herbs, lemon zest, fresh chili and garlic. Remember to season to taste, and you may need to add a pinch of salt; a little honey, some lemon juice etc.
Serve the dip with fresh vegetables, nachos, or as a side to your barbecue dinner  - anything goes. 

Cream up your soup, sauce or béchamel

Since feta or white cheese is creamy and has a relatively high fat content, it is absolutely perfect for giving dishes a creamy texture. Instead of adding heavy cream to soups and sauces, add a chunk of white cheese. It will even boost the flavour too, since white cheese is naturally more flavourful than cream. You may want to use an immersion blender to blend the cheese into the sauce or soup to ensure a deliciously smooth texture. 
As an extra tip, I also recommend trying white cheese in your béchamel sauce. Your lasagne will be heavenly with a cheese-spiked béchamel sauce and you’ll get a very rich sauce loaded with flavour. Simply replace the cream cheese or grated cheese you would normally use with the same amount (or a little extra) of white cheese.

Replace other types of cheese

As I said at the top of this post, you can actually replace most cooking cheeses with white cheese. For your inspiration, here are some of my favourite places to substitute with white cheese: 

  • In pies – and not only the savory ones, the sweet ones, too. For example, check out the recipe for my blackberry & white cheese galettes here.
  • On pizza, lasagna and tortillas
  • On your nachos instead of cheddar. Don't forget to serve the nachos with a homemade and chunky tomato salsa and a few slices of avocado, yum!
  • On flatbreads and bruschetta

Grilled in the oven

Feta and white cheese are firm cheeses that keep their shape when cooked. This makes them wonderful for grilling. You can grill white cheese on the barbecue or in the oven. Grill it as it as, with a splash of olive oil and served on a tapas plate or as a part of a vegetarian meal.

You can also dress the cheese with honey and nuts and serve it as a part of your after dinner cheese selection or as a tasty brunch dish. Some toasted bread goes  wonderfully with the warm, slightly caramelized cheese. Or if you want a more filling summer dish, you can grill your white cheese with vegetables, such as aubergine, tomatoes or corn. A great idea is to take a bunch of vegetables, cut them into smaller pieces, toss them in oil and spices and place in a heatproof dish. Top with large chunks of white cheese and grill until the cheese is golden and the vegetables tender.

White cheese in desserts

Finally, we don't want to forget dessert. Because white cheese is actually wonderful in sweet dishes, too. You can add crumbled cheese to your favourite berry muffins or scones for a wonderful, salty twist. Berries pair particularly well with white cheese.

Most people only use cream cheese for cheesecakes and puddings, but the truth is, white cheese is a huge hit, too. Replace around half of the cream cheese that you would normally use with white cheese, and you’ll have yourself a distinctive and delicious cheesecake. Another great-tasting and alternative way to use white cheese and to make an original summer dessert is to whip up a portion of sweet dip. Make a dip with half white cheese and half cream fraiche/sour cream. Add a little vanilla, lemon zest and melted white chocolate. Stir until combined and serve with fresh fruit, berries and  whole grain biscuits, and you have a wonderfully simple summer dessert.

Finally, the next time you are whipping up a cream cheese frosting for your courgette bread or carrot muffins, try substituting half the cream cheese with white cheese. It gives the icing a salty twist that is perfect to these kinds of cakes.

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