I hosted another dinner party this past weekend, this time with a Mediterranean-themed menu. For an appetizer, a cool but flavorful dip of some sort seemed like the perfect option. However, I certainly wanted to serve something other than the typical hummus or baba ghanoush. I thought about some of my favorite ingredients commonly used in mediterranean-style cooking. Feta cheese and roasted red peppers immediately came to mind. So after searching, I came across this fabulous, yet strikingly simple recipe by Kevin of Closet Cooking for Htipiti, a roasted red pepper and feta cheese dip, made entirely in the food processor. It tastes phenomenal. Feta cheese provides all the necessary creaminess, and the sweetness from the roasted red peppers well balances the tanginess of the feta. I have modified the recipe only slightly, using crushed red pepper flakes in place of the jalapeno pepper, and the heat provides that slight kick that rounds out the overall flavor of the dish perfectly. I also used garlic powder in place of raw garlic, as I do not care for the strong aftertaste left in your mouth by raw garlic. Leftovers make for a great sandwich/wrap spread and would also serve as a tasty alternative to pasta sauce.
Htipiti (This is the original recipe; I tripled it):
1 roasted red pepper
4 ounces feta cheese
2 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
scant 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 green onion
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and process until well-blended but still slightly chunky. Add oil from the sun-dried tomatoes if you need to thin the dip out. Garnish with olive slices and crumbled feta, if desired.
Serve with good crackers, pita chips or fresh veggies.