It’s a summer evening, you’ve spent the day out with a group, and you say, “Why not keep the party going at our place?” Or, you’re relaxing at home and get a text from some friends who want to stop by. In either case, impromptu guests are imminently arriving.
For those last-minute occasions where you still want to be the consummate host and put something delicious on the table, it’s essential to have a few quick yet impressive recipes in your back pocket—ideally one or two that come together with ingredients you already have on hand.
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Inspired by the Greek meze tyrosalata (which translates to “cheese salad”), this appetizer comes together with just feta cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, herbs, and a bit of milk.
Blitz everything in a food processor, scoop it into a bowl, and drizzle more olive oil on top and you’re done. The result is a lush, tangy, salty dip with a hint of garlicky savoriness that your guests won’t be able to get enough of.
You’ll be serving it again and again, whether your company is unexpected or planned.
More MediterraneanLearn how to build vibrant meals around a plant-forward plate inspired by the varied Mediterranean cuisines.
How to Serve Whipped Feta Dip
This dip isn’t fussy about its accompaniments. Pair it with crudités, pita, or crackers. You can even spread it on toast. Just stay away from anything too salty, since whipped feta brings its own strong salinity.
How to Customize Whipped Feta
The appetizer is also quite amenable to improvisation. Want a hint of sweetness? Drizzle on some honey. Interested in grassy, herbal flavors? Blend in a handful of fresh parsley and dill. Seeking spice? Try roasted red peppers with cayenne and smoked paprika.
3 Keys to the Best Whipped Feta Dip
1. Use cow’s milk feta
Traditional sheep’s milk feta has a lower melting point than cow’s milk feta and produced a dip that was too runny if it sat out. Cow’s milk feta has a much stiffer consistency at room temperature.
2. Rinse the cheese first
A drawback of the cow's milk cheese is that it can be assertively salty. To temper this, rinse the cheese before processing.
3. Add milk
To thin the dip, process the cheese with a little milk. This will loosen its consistency just enough to make the dip swipeable with soft pita.
How to Make Whipped Feta Dip
1. Combine lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl and set aside. Break the feta into small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add water to cover, then swish briefly to rinse. Transfer to a fine-mesh strainer and drain well.
2. Transfer feta to the food processor. Add milk and reserved lemon juice mixture and process until the feta mixture resembles ricotta cheese, about 15 seconds. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in a bit of olive oil. Continue to process until the mixture has Greek yogurt–like consistency (some small lumps will remain), stopping to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
3. Add preferred seasonings and pulse to combine. Transfer dip to bowl and drizzle with olive oil.