I’ve been neglecting my kitchen lately. I could easily blame it on coming home tired after long, late days at work; on a travel schedule that makes it seem a waste to stock up on fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat; or on a favorite restaurant that’s a short walk from the house. But more than anything, I’ve been in a culinary rut. When I ‘cook’ I’ve been grilling, only changing up the meat, marinade, or sauce.
I took the first step toward a reconciliation with my kitchen when I purchased a Vitamix a couple of weeks ago. I’ve had my eye on it for several years, and when I found a too-good-to-pass-up deal on a new one, I finally took the plunge. Since then I’ve been blending like a manic: applesauce, apple cider, nut butter, sun butter, smoothies, ketchup, mayonnaise…
I’ve also been inspired watching my friend Amy blog her meals (I know she loves food as I do, so I want to try everything she makes). I’ve picked up a couple of her recommended cookbooks, and have started prepping my weeknight meals on the weekend.
I’ve also been searching the web for inspiration, which is how I came upon the idea for this crazy-good, crazy-easy garlic feta dip. I’m calling it a dip, but it would be good as a spread on cooked vegetables and meat, sandwiches – really, on just about anything.
It’s a combination of two recipes I found online (one for a simple whipped feta, and another for a creamy feta dip with jalapeños), plus a couple of touches to suit my tastes. You have to plan just a little bit ahead to roast the garlic and jalapeño, but other than that it comes together very quickly.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, then wrap tightly in a double-layer of aluminum foil:
- 1 whole head garlic, top (non-root end) sliced off to reveal the tops of the cloves
- drizzle with a little olive oil
Place on foil in the oven; roast 20-30 minutes (until it is soft to the touch). Roast on the foil with the garlic:
- 1 jalapeño pepper
Turn the jalapeño several times, keeping an eye on it and remove when it slightly charred. This will take less time than the garlic.
Let the garlic and jalapeño cool.
Meanwhile, combine in a blender or food processor:
- 8 ounces feta (liquid drained)
- 3 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup good-quality olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt (I used low fat Greek-syle yogurt, but you can use whatever you have on hand or like)
Blend until smooth and creamy. Then add:
- roasted garlic (just squeeze the head and the roasted cloves will come right out)
- roasted jalapeño, seeds removed
Blend until the garlic and jalapeño are incorporated. The flavors will come together after sitting for a while, but it’s also good served right away.
(This makes about 1.5 cups)