4.28.15 Whipped Feta Dip with Spiced Pita Chips
Lately, due to the lovely (yet admittedly sporadic) spring weather we’ve been graced with, we’re finding ourselves eating a lot of meals outside. Whether it be picnicking, enjoying snacks and beverages on the porch, or a having a leisurely dinner on the back patio, outdoor dining is one of my favorite things. Ever.
When it comes to dining al fresco, I generally like to keep things simple. And while lounging on the porch with a drink in hand, no better or easier snack comes to mind than some good old dip. Dip is delicious, and I’m sorry to say there’s not nearly enough of it on this blog (I’ll be sure to remedy this, don’t worry). Besides being delicious and fun to eat, dip can also be dangerous. As in, you start snacking, and before you know it, you look down to find you’ve somehow eaten the entire bowl. Unfortunately, this is a very real danger when it comes to this whipped feta dip.
Feta cheese is whipped up with greek yogurt, lemon and chives for a bright, creamy dip that takes almost no time at all to make. I also added some additional heat and texture in the form of pine nuts toasted in a quick homemade chile oil. And finally, no dip would be complete without something fantastic to dip it in. In this case, the only real option I saw was pita chips. In particular, homemade pita chips spiced with smoked paprika and za’atar. All I can say is, this is one tasty dip.
Whipped Feta Dip with Spiced Pita Chips
- 1 8 oz block feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives + more for serving
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp pine nuts
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Spiced Pita Chips for serving (recipe follows)
1. Combine feta, greek yogurt, 2 Tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, chives, and black pepper in a food processor. Process until a smooth consistency is achieved. Transfer dip to a serving bowl.
2. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes in a pan over medium high heat. Stirring constantly to prevent chile flakes from burning, cook until oil is very hot and infused with the chile, about 2 minutes. Add the pine nuts, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until pine nuts are a deep golden brown. Immediately pour toasted pine nuts and chile oil atop feta dip. Top with additional chopped chives and serve with spiced pita chips for dipping.
Spiced Pita Chips
Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend of sumac, thyme, sesame seeds, and salt that I’m pretty much obsessed with. And, as I’ve also discovered, it’s the perfect spice for seasoning pita chips. You can buy it at Penzeys, or make some of your own (2 Tbsp sumac, 1 Tbsp thyme, 1 ½ tsp white sesame seeds, ½ tsp salt).
- 2 pita pocket breads
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp za’atar
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut the pita breads into eighths. Separate each pita triangle into two pieces (the top and bottom of the pocket) by tearing along the top edge.
3. Spread pita triangles on a baking sheet and toss evenly with the olive oil, za’atar, and smoked paprika.
4. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until pita chips are golden brown and toasty.