Pistachio Feta Dip

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Pistachios add a beautiful emerald-green to holiday foods like Christmas bark and festive biscotti, but what about the really green holiday – St. Patrick’s Day?!!

Maybe I’m just really into color – I’ve certainly been accused of that – but I saw this dip online and just knew I’d be making it for St. Patrick’s day, on March 17th, 2018. Way more fun than Irish stew, and you can still enjoy your green beer.

I’m basing my recipe on the one from The Lemon Apron, a gorgeous blog by young Jennifer, who believes in “rustic, indulgent, and healthy home cooking.”

She got the original recipe from the book Persiana, by Sabrina Ghayour.

What I especially loved about this dip is that there is no TAHINI or CHICK PEAS in it!!! Hummus is wonderful, but there are other dips out there.

Case in point – this one is a beautiful purée of pistachios, along with feta and yogurt. YUM!

Pistachio Feta Dip
Slightly Adapted
Printable recipe below

3 1/2 oz (100 g) shelled pistachios
1/4 cup olive oil
7 oz (approx 200 g) feta cheese
2 handfuls of parsley, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
6 ounces Greek yogurt
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Blitz the pistachios and olive oil in a food processor for 30 seconds.

Add the feta, parsley, garlic, chile pepper, yogurt and lemon.

Blitz until the mixture is well combined and has a rustic texture and place in a serving dish. I drizzled some olive oil over the top.

Serve with warmed focaccia or flat bread, pita crackers, crackers, or crostini.

I used Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips because they’re so delicious.

I realized after-the-fact that if I’d removed the brown, thin skins from the pistachios, the dip would have been greener. But oh well. You will still be addicted!

There isn’t one thing I don’t absolutely love about this dip. I’ll be making it again, even when it’s not St. Patrick’s Day.

Note: In the original recipe, dill and cilantro are both used. I made an executive decision to just use parsley, because I wanted this dip to be more generic in flavor, in order to match it with other hors d’oeuvres I was serving.

I noticed that Jen spread the dip on toast and topped it with an egg! Yeah!!! (her photo below)

 

 

Green Goddess

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Way back before my taste in food developed to the point where it is today, I didn’t like lettuce. It was a texture thing. So, as a result, I didn’t eat salads. I was in high school I first began enjoying salads, which is really very old. But my palate obviously developed slowly.

I remember spreading a green creamy dressing over greens at a salad bar at a steak restaurant in Park City, Utah, that my parents frequented. And I remember fondly how good my first salads were with what I learned to be green goddess dressing. (The other option was that peach colored thousand island stuff – blech.)

So fast forward a million years and within a short few months I am inundated with recipes for green goddess dressing. They keep showing up everywhere, mimicking me, as a sign to re-live my initiation eating salads. So I decided it was meant to be. I made green goddess dressing.

This green goddess dressing is based on variations of a few different recipes, including one in an old cookbook of mine, Chez Panisse Vegetables. I never knew the green part was from herbs, or that some of the creaminess was from avocado. But if you like green and creamy, this is the dressing for you!

The salad I used it on is called a South American salad. Seriously, it is. I’ll actually feature it on a separate post, because there’s a good story to go along with it. My variation, in the featured photo, features potatoes, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, bacon and hard boiled eggs. This was all tossed with the green goddess dressing.

Green Goddess Dressing

1 medium avocado
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 small shallots
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 anchovies
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup heavy cream
Parsley*
Fresh cilantro*
Fresh basil*

Place all ingredients but the herbs in a jar of a blender and blend until smooth.

Add the herbs and blend some more. Taste. Season with salt and pepper.
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Cover the bowl of the dressing and let it refrigerate for a day before using. Then, warm to room temperature first.
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* I used about 1/4 cup of parsley, about half that amount of cilantro and basil. Start with those amounts, and see what you think.

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verdict: This dressing is pretty fabulous. And it’s easy to play with the ingredients. The idea of using yogurt instead of cream came to mind, as did using a single herb instead of the variety listed here. It would also make a fab dip for a crudités platter!