Over the holidays I have a house full of family members who all love to eat so I am always looking for unique, delicious recipes my family will enjoy. On Christmas Day, we eat a big breakfast and plan an early dinner, so in between I prepare a few snacks to keep everyone happy. I have been a fan of feta cheese since I tasted my first Greek salad many, many years ago. Luckily we can buy good quality imported feta cheese both here in North America as well as in Italy during our six months a year in Umbria. This dip uses feta cheese that is whipped together with some cream cheese and olive oil. A little lemon brightens the flavor of the dip which is topped with a chopped tomato and olive relish before serving. I served this dip with slices of crusty baguette bread, although you could also serve the dip with crackers or toasted pita chips.
This dip ended up as one of our holiday favorites and in fact my family was fighting over the leftovers the next day. What I like most about this type of dish is that it is great for entertaining as it can be prepared ahead of time. This makes it a great option for family holiday entertaining, or when you have friends over for game day. You could prepare the whipped feta dip the day before, and then simply add the tomato relish and olive oil the next day. As any feta cheese lover knows, it can be quite salty, so do not add any additional salt. For best results, use ripe tomatoes and a good quality black olive such as the Kalamata variety.
Deborah Mele 2015
- 8 Ounces Imported Feta Cheese
- 8 Ounces Cream Cheese At Room Temperature
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Lemon, Juiced
- 2 Pints Ripe Cherry Tomatoes, Chopped
- 1/4 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives, Chopped
- 5 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Pinch Of Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
- Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cracked Black Pepper
- Place the feta, cream cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until very creamy and smooth.
- Spread the whipped feta mixture into a shallow bowl.
- Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Spoon the tomato mixture into the center of the feta dip, leaving an inch or so border exposed.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the dip and tomatoes, and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
- Serve the dip with slices of crusty baguette bread or crackers.