While browsing the aisles at the grocery store that adjoins Lazziz Persian restaurant on Nolensville Road, I stumbled across a brick-sized can of Valbreso French feta, a brined sheep's milk cheese whose firm spongy blocks miraculously crumble into creamy curds.
Having purchased the 21-ounce can for $10, I've been on feta jag for over a week now, accenting everything from pizzas (made with flatbreads also purchased at Lazziz) to Israeli couscous. One of the best experiments so far involved roasted red peppers with capers, olive oil, garlic and the mildly salty feta, which deceptively retained its shape in the roasting process, but whose texture assumed an ethereal fluffiness.
Based on this decadent experience, our next festive feta fest will involve simply roasting a block of the cheese and slathering it onto hunks of crusty French bread.
You can also try the cheese as part of the opening salad plate at Lazziz, where the well-priced meal begins with a platter of French feta, fresh herbs, radish slices, pink onion and lemon wedges.
Lazziz ( 333-0772) is at 3725 Nolensville Pike, just north of the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere.