The Case for Feta-Lemon Dip… and the Artichoke

Call it co-incidence, but twice recently very similar ideas for Feta-Lemon Dip have caught my attention.  I paused the first time and made a note to self, and kept going.  The second time, I discovered it in Paul Lowe’s charming book Eat & Make and decided it was certainly worth trying.

Perhaps it has something to do with my recent fascination with IKEA and the Swedish lifestyle that attracted me to his book.  Paul, or Sweet Paul, who grew up in neighboring Norway, has the same earthy approach and straight forward food sensibilities.  Plus, he includes a bunch of complementary DIY projects that look like fun and add a nice homey touch.

At the market I have been eyeing artichokes longingly, but have passed due to the $3 per each sticker shock.  Nevertheless, the other day they looked so enticing, I buckled and bought one, with the feta dip in mind.  I wondered how well they would get along.   Artichokes are funny.  Prickly as they are, they prefer first position and do not easily share the spotlight.

Feta artichoke 2The case seemed to have merit:  feta and artichokes are neighbors, too.  Was there enough acid in the dip – or too much – to stand up to the artichoke and bridge the potential feta gap?

I have played with Sweet Paul’s recipe a bit.  For most occasions I suspect Paul’s recipe is excellent as is, but for my situation I have made some adjustments.

I added a few spoonfuls of Greek yogurt to assist in the creaminess and cut back slightly on the six tablespoons of olive oil.  I also reduced the lemon zest substantially, incorporated green onion, and threw in a sprinkling of dill weed.

It works for me!  

Feta and Lemon Dip

Inspired by:  Eat & Make, Paul Lowe, aka Sweet Paul

Ingredients

  • 7 oz feta cheese (about 1 cup crumbled)
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, (Paul includes 1 Tbsp grated lemon zest)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt, (optional, my addition)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, ( Paul uses 6 Tbsp)
  • 1 green onion, chopped (optional)
  • ½ tsp. dried dill weed (optional)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Crudités, chips, toasts, or pita crisps for serving

Directions 

l.   Place feta, lemon zest, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, garlic and olive in blender and whirl to combine, but still slightly chunky using small spatula to assist if necessary.  Adjust seasoning, add green onion, dill if using, and lemon juice to taste.  Whirl again to lightly blend.

2.  Spoon into serving bowl, drizzle with a little lemon oil and sprinkle with a pinch of pepper flakes and some lemon zest.  Serve with crudités, chips toasts or pita crisps.  Serves 4

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