Bursting with flavor, this versatile spread keeps well in the fridge for about a week, and you can use it on toast (Grilled Toast with Whipped Lemon-Thyme Feta and Summer Squash) , with pasta, added to eggs and frittatas, or in salads. Start with good quality feta and crumble it just before processing. (Don’t buy pre-crumbled feta). Some feta is denser than others, so keep pulsing and processing until you reach a spread-like consistency, and add a little more olive oil if you need to.

Yields 1 1/3 cups

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, more if needed
  • 1 large garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ pound feta cheese, broken into small chunks
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon (loosely packed) thyme leaves
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped parsley, mint, or a combination (optional)


1. In a small skillet or saucepan, combine the olive oil, the garlic slices, and the red pepper flakes over medium-low heat. Heat, stirring, until the oil is bubbling and the garlic is fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the feta cheese, the infused olive oil, the lemon zest and the thyme leaves. Process, pulsing several times and stopping to scrape down the sides repeatedly, until well-combined and lightened. Some feta will need more processing. If the mixture is still dense, add a bit more olive oil. Add the chopped parsley or mint (if using) and pulse until well-mixed.

3. Transfer to a storage container, cover well, and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.