Whipped feta dip
FoodGreat as an appetizer

Whipped feta dip

If you love feta cheese, you’re going to love this dip.

Whipped feta dip (Photo by Jessica Grann)
Whipped feta dip (Photo by Jessica Grann)

This whipped feta cheese dip is one of the most delicious appetizers that I serve with mezze. If you love feta cheese, you’re going to love this dip.

This is an easy recipe. All you need to do is add everything to the food processor to blend and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

I always make the base the same, but you can get creative with the toppings. This week, I roasted cherry tomatoes under the broiler to use as a colorful topping with olives, a little bit of olive oil and some toasted pine nuts for garnish. While the tomatoes aren’t necessary, they do add both color and flavor, so it’s worth taking a few extra minutes to prepare them.

This dip is amazing with pita chips or crostini, but I also like to dip grape leaves into it or add it to a plate of roasted eggplant or fish.

1 pound feta cheese
1 clove peeled garlic
¼ cup of labneh or full-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
⅔ cup of olives of your choice
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
Fresh parsley for garnish
Aleppo pepper flakes for garnish

1 cup of cherry tomatoes roasted in 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Put one clove of garlic into the food processor and blend for about 30 seconds.

Add the feta cheese, labneh/yogurt, lemon juice and olive oil and process on high for about 2 minutes. The feta cheese has a lot of salt, so you won’t need to add any more to the dip.

Scrape every last bit into a new bowl or storage container, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. This step is important to get the right consistency, and it also allows for all of the flavors to really meld together.

If you’d like to add tomatoes, combine them with the olive oil in a sauté pan or a small baking sheet and broil on high for 8-10 minutes until the skin starts to blacken and the flesh is soft and starts to burst open from the heat.

Set aside until ready to serve.

If I’m serving this with a meal, I put the hot tomatoes on the cold feta dip; but if you’re using this as an appetizer, spoon the tomatoes over the feta dip when they are at room temperature.

As another option, you can make this dip with roasted red peppers. Rinse and add two whole roasted red peppers, skin removed, to the garlic in the food processor, then add the feta, yogurt and the rest of the ingredients. If using peppers, I omit the tomato topping.

After the dip has set, spread it over a dinner plate. Sometimes I make a well in the middle and put the tomatoes into the well; otherwise, top the dip with the tomatoes, olives, pine nuts, Aleppo pepper flakes and parsley. Drizzle the cooking oil from the tomatoes or a bit of plain olive oil over the top.

Serve immediately.

This will soften a bit if the room is hot, so don’t leave it out for much longer than an hour (but, honestly, it never lasts that long and I never have leftovers).

Enjoy and bless your hands! PJC

Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh.

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