Whipped Feta and Veggies
dip is never a bad idea
things you’ll need: feta, something to cut it (greek yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, mayo, buttermilk, heavy cream, or a few in combination), allium of some such (shallot, garlic, chives, green onion), olive oil, your choice of flavors (za’atar, honey, your favorite fresh herbs, everything bagel seasoning, chili flakes, pepper, whatever makes it yours), a little acid because you always need an acid (lemon zest or juice, mustard, red wine or whichever of your favorite kinds of vinegar), and so many dipping veggies.
incidentally gluten-free and vegetarian
Crudités is a very fancy way of saying raw things dipped in stuff. Ranch-style dips made with various dairy is the go-to centerpiece of the ubiquitous veggie platter because ranch is fucking tasty and what’s a gathering without a platter of dipping vegetables and creamy stuff? It’s basically a salad that you eat with your hands.
As the world begins steadily moving forward (and backward and then forward again while also still moving backward and occasionally in circles), you may have to pack some more snack-type foods to eat between things because you are back to going places and can’t rely on always being near your own kitchen.
In the spirit of things moving forward, you might entertain people at your house so that you don’t have to go places (where there might be other people you don’t know) and you will need to provide snacks for them.
Basically, there is always a reason to make a dip and eat some veggies. It’s always a good idea.
The foodstagram is filled with whipped feta dips because they are spectacular. The more you look things up and realize that everyone does it differently, the more you believe that there is rarely one right way. There is your way, and it is usually right. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try new things and new flavors and attempt things that take precision and occasionally even follow someone else’s directions, but not with dip. You are just going to taste your way to the dip that’s right for you.
Start with Feta. Sounds simple, because it is. However, there is a lot of Feta out there. Whichever feta you get, you are going to have to taste it before you decide what to do with it. Some are super creamy, others are super salty, some are dry and others are in brine. If you get the creamy stuff, you may not need as much liquid to thin. If you get the dry stuff, you need to cream it up. If you get the brine-packed feta you can keep the brine around to loosen up the dip, marinate some chicken, or toss it in stock or something. Whichever feta you chose, you probably won’t need to add any salt.
Grab a food processor and crumble in some feta. Start with about one cup of feta and about a quarter cup of yogurt (or cream cheese or sour cream or mayo or ricotta or whatever).
Blend well. Give it a taste. Blend while adding in a little cream or buttermilk or brine to loosen it up (maybe a couple of tablespoons) and some olive oil. Once you are happy with the texture, add a little bit of acid (lemon juice/zest a touch of vinegar or whatever you choose) to brighten it up and cut through all that delicious dairy fat and salty goodness. Keep tasting.
Grate in some allium of your choice because alliums go in almost everything.
Now, get creative and make it your own. Go sweet and drizzle in some honey. Go smokey and blend it all with roasted red peppers, smoked paprika, or chipotle. Keep it super green and blend in huge handfuls of parsley or dill or a mix of various many fresh herbs. Make it za’atar. Make it whatever you want. Skip almost all those steps and just blend up some feta with a little bottled Italian dressing. It’s dip and dip is rarely wrong and yours tastes so right.
Serve in classic crudités fashion, alongside all the veggies of your choosing. You can make it 100 times in various many ways to fit your particular self or please whomever you choose to please or keep the idea in your back pocket to pull out the next time there is an impromptu gathering and you need to whip something up, because dip is always a good idea.
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