Greek Salad with Feta Mousse
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4 first-course servings
Gavin Kaysen's Greek salad has most of the usual ingredients, like tomatoes and olivesbut, in an inspired twist, he turns the traditional feta cheese into a creamy, light feta mousse. Kaysen invented the dish to impress his coach when he was training for the prestigious international Bocuse d'Or cooking competition, and he says, "It blew him away."
- 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 white pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced, quartered or halved
- Fleur de sel and coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 16 pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- In a small skillet, combine the feta and 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. Puree until fairly smooth. Season with white pepper. Scrape the mixture into a shallow bowl and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.
- 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. Top with the tomatoes, lightly seasoning each layer with fleur de sel and black pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil, garnish with the olives, red onion and oregano and serve.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.