I had no hand in this Feta Mousse. My neighbor called to tell me she had just made this and would give me some. I was thrilled. I had friends coming over for pizza-on-the-grill and this would be a wonderful side-dish. Both of our tomato crops were dwindling, so cucumbers from my neighbor's garden were thrown into the mix. The only thing I didn't do (forgot to do, I should say), was the drizzle of olive oil over the feta before serving. My friends who were invited for pizza had been in France this summer and I was understandably, totally engrossed in photos of their trip. When I'm talking France, all else is forgotten ;-]]
adapted from a recipe in Food & Wine by Gavin Kaysen
• 6 ounces Greek feta cheese, crumbled (1 1/2 cups)
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin softened in 1 1/2 tablespoons of water
• freshly ground pepper (white preferred)
• mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced, quartered, or halved
• Fleur de sel and coarsely ground black pepper
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• pitted Kalamata olives, halved
• thinly sliced red onion
• cucumber, sliced
• chopped fresh oregano
1. In a small skillet, combine the feta and heavy cream, and simmer over moderate heat until the feta is slightly melted, about 1 minute. Stir in the softened gelatin and transfer to a blender. Purée until fairly smooth. Season with white pepper. Scrape the mixture into a shallow bowl and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
2. Bring the feta mousse back to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Whisk the mousse until loosened. Spread the mousse in the center of each plate (or do as I did, and mix everything on a large platter). Top with the tomatoes, lightly seasoning each layer with the fleur de sel and black pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil, and garnish with the olives, red onion, cucumber and oregano.
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