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Author Notes: This past weekend I found myself having a bit of extra alone time so I decided to experiment with one of my favorite ingredients: cheese! Cheese is a girl’s best friend (I think I might prefer cheese over diamonds, yep, that’s the truth). And while I am a huge fan of the traditional night cheese (thanks Tina) I typically live by a 24 hour a day cheese rule. Any time, any place.
So any who, it was Saturday and I had just gotten home from the grocery store. While shopping I got a bit heated about the price of feta dips. Specifically delicious products like Crazy Feta by Cava. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the stuff, but I simply cannot rationalize the price for something (I think it’s either $7.99 or $8.99) that could easily be made at home. Needless to say, I opted not to purchase said Crazy Feta and was now standing in the kitchen feta dip-less and somewhat woeful.
But not to worry, because with just a few ingredients that are likely already in the pantry and refrigerator you too can make a whipped feta dip of sorts. I always have some feta on hand – but I also had milk that was about a day or two away from turning to the dark side. So I decided to make a quick ricotta that could lend some extra creaminess to the spread.
The best part about this dip is how customizable it is. I kept it very basic this time around but other ingredients can be added in; you can go Crazy Feta style with jalapeño and roasted garlic or maybe bring in some onion flavors with shallots or scallions. Endless possibilities. Note: for help on making the ricotta, I referred to this article on Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/02/how-to-make-fresh-ricotta-fast-easy-homemade-cheese-the-food-lab-recipe.html —onetinyspark
Makes 1 cup
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 cup feta, crumbled
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil and extra for drizzling
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- For the ricotta (if you don't feel like making your own ricotta, use 1/2 cup of store bought): Combine the milk, vinegar, and salt in a glass microwave safe bowl. Heat the bowl in the microwave on high for about 4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the microwave and give the contents a stir for 5-10 seconds. The milk will separate into white curds, leaving behind translucent liquid whey.
- Place 3-4 layers of cheese cloth in a colander and then place the colander over a bowl. Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the curds from the glass bowl and place them on the cheese cloth. Discard the whey. Cover the top of the colander (plastic wrap does the trick) and let the curds drain for about 15-20 minutes.
- Finally, once the curds have reached their desired texture, place them into a bowl, cover, and store in the fridge until ready for use (the cheese stay fresh for up to 5 days).
- For the whipped feta/ricotta spread: Combine the crumbled feta, ricotta, and smashed garlic in a food processor on high for thirty seconds or so. Then, pour in the olive oil, lemon juice, and white pepper and process on high until smooth. Move the contents to a decorative bowl and garnish with a drizzle of your best olive oil, lemon zest, and rosemary. Serve with crackers, a baguette, crudité, etc. The spread is also delicious as a substitute for mayonnaise on a sandwich!