In Greece, when friends get together for lunch, it is an all day affair! Whether there are 4 or 14 dining, the amount of food is almost the same. The table is covered with small plates, called mezethes. For sure you will find tzatziki, slices of feta with oregano, mixed olives, salads, and a variety of dips and sauces like these. Food is always eaten “family style” and shared among everyone at a table. You order ala carte and pass the plates around until all the food is gone and the glasses of ouzo and wine are empty. A minimum of two hours but more commonly three to four hours of eating, talking, drinking, and then eating and drinking some more. If you have never experienced this, it is indescribable how the time passes when you are surrounded by good food and good friends! Here are a few feta dips that can easily be put together for exactly such an occasion.
Spicy Whipped Feta Dip Recipe ”Tyrokafteri” Printable Recipe 1-2 wax or banana peppers, raw or roasted, coarsely chopped
5-6 ounces (~1/3 lb. or 150 grams) feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste First, decide whether you want to add your wax/banana peppers raw or roasted. Raw, they offer a lighter taste but you might have a few crunchy chunks of peppers that aren’t completely blended. Roasted, they will have almost a smoky taste to them and will blend easier into a puree. In the picture above, I added them raw to give a balance to the roasted red pepper dip; both ways are nice it just depends on your preference. Secondly, blend in a food processor your feta and peppers. Once blended, add the yogurt and blend again. Slowly stream in the oil and lemon/vinegar to until perfectly creamy. Taste often so that you get the balance of oil and lemon just the way you like it.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip Recipe Makes about 2 cups Printable Recipe 8 oz Greek feta cheese, preferably from a block of feta not pre-crumbled 1-2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) > Pulse in food processor until feta is creamy. If you are using pre-crumbled feta, slowly stream in the oil while blending for a creamier texture. 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped or 1 (6 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry 2-3 pickled pepperoncini peppers, seeded and chopped, optional Fresh black pepper to taste > Pulse again until the mixture is well combined. Slowly add the remaining: 2+ Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, about half a lemon The dip should be creamy and spreadable. Taste and add more lemon or oil if necessary. Pour dip into a dish and refrigerate for an hour before serving. Sprinkle with paprika or cayenne for garnish. Serve with pita chips and/or veggies.
Whether you want a dip for chips or veggies or you prefer a delicious spread for your pita sandwich, these two are worth trying sometime soon. And now that is it summer, it’s perfect for one of those long Mediterranean lunches that lasts 3-4 hours with some good friends. Although, it might be a better idea as a dinner party, rather than trying to talk an American waitress into letting you keep the table for 4 hours. It’s definitely a culture difference: most Americans eating out in Europe want to know where there waiter is and when he’s coming back but the Europeans visiting America just want to be left alone to enjoy their food and drinks. I guess there is a time and place for both of these experiences, it’ll just depend on whether you’re searching for good company or good service