Whipped Feta with Marinated Tomatoes

Updated: Sep 8, 2021


Life’s just bettah’ with feta, and superbly improved by this delightful whipped dip! I’ve always loved intensely savory, briny feta cheese crumbled into salads, melted into an omelet, tossed up with pasta etc., but whipping it smooth with lemon, cream cheese and extra virgin olive oil takes it to another dimension of deliciousness. Top with juicy ripe tomatoes marinated with garlic and vinegar and you, mere mortal, will have the favor of the gods (and your guests) at every cocktail hour!

I love dunking into this dip with crisp flatbread or crunchy pita, making sure to get a little tomato piece on every creamy feta bite, but it’s also lovely with crudités. If you want to skip the tomatoes and just make the whipped feta, it makes a fabulous topping for a baked potato, spread for a sandwich/wrap, or condiment grilled fish, meat or veggies. It will keep in the fridge tightly sealed for a few days and is a versatile item to have at the ready at any old time.


Quality of ingredients, always an important consideration, is especially crucial in simple, no cook recipes like this one: choose good block feta packed in brine, high quality extra virgin olive oil, and only the ripest tomatoes (I like to use assorted colors but it’s not necessary). Also- do not attempt this recipe until that cream cheese is at *room temperature* or you will never get the creamy consistency you’re after! The tomatoes will taste better if you let them sit for a half hour or so while you prep the feta so do that first if you have the time. You feta believe I’ll be making this on repeat. Enjoy!

 

prep time: 5 min. prep time: 30 min. serves: makes about 2 cups


INGREDIENTS


MARINATED TOMATOES 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved (quartered if large)

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small clove garlic, grated or very finely minced

1/2 tsp kosher salt

pinch red pepper flakes


WHIPPED FETA 1-8 oz block feta cheese, crumbled

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tsp lemon zest

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp kosher salt

ground black pepper to taste

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil


FOR SERVING

flaky salt, chiffonade basil, crackers, flatbread, crudités, pita, and/or crostini

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Start by combing all the ingredients for the marinated tomatoes in a medium bowl. Toss to combine and let them sit at room temperature about 30 minutes while you whip the feta.


Place the feta, cream cheese, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture to combine, then with the motor running slowly stream in the olive oil. Continue to blend the mixture until very smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes more. Check for seasoning and transfer to a shallow serving bowl, swooshing to make a little “bowl” in the center for the tomatoes.


Use a slotted spoon to spoon the tomatoes into the center of the feta, leaving most of the juices behind. Sprinkle everything with a little flaky salt and garnish with the chiffonade basil. Enjoy with pita, flatbread, crackers or crudités!

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