Greece, Italy and Turkey are coastal neighbours so it is quite fitting that across the street from Marche Istanbul is Grande Cheese, a cheese and Italian food “factory outlet”. You know your heart is in your belly when you go to a factory outlet strip and you gravitate to the cheese, spice and tea stores. Anyways, I digress. I promised myself that if I were to buy anything perishable, it would be feta cheese. But Grande Cheese has not 1, but 5 different kinds of feta (I think it was 5, I lost count to be honest)! Egad, I had no idea there were so many different kinds of feta. The lovely woman at the deli counter helped to enlighten me by telling me a bit about each one and letting me sample them. I ended up coming home with a creamy, less salty than Greek, Macedonian feta cheese. Delicious!
Now, think of all your favourite flavours and meld them into one smashing dip. That’s what the Greeks did when they made htipiti . Feta cheese, check. Roasted red pepper, yup. Sun-dried tomatoes, absolutely. Garlic, lemon, yes yes yes! I just don’t cheer for green onions by themselves, but they added a bit of zing to this dish. Whip these all together in your food processor and you have one amazing dip. Serve it with chopped pitas, veggies, or with a spoon! Pairing it with something neutral works best because this dip is like a party on your tongue! :D
This recipe was adapted from Closet Cooking and is my submission to this month’s Regional Recipes featuring Greece, hosted by Joanne at Eats Well With Others, and to Priya hosting this month’s Healing Foods featuring onions.
Greek Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Cheese Dip (Htipiti)
4 ounces feta (I used Macedonian feta)
1-2 red peppers, cored and cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, then cut into small pieces
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
Juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon (about 1 tbsp)
1. Preheat the oven broiler. Line a small roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the pepper halves in the pan, cut side down, and place in the oven on the shelf closest to the broiler. Broil until the pepper skins are completely black, about 8-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, wrap the pepper in the foil and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and rub off the skins of the peppers. Slice the peppers into 1/2-inch-thick strips and set aside.
2. Mix everything in a food processor. Add some water from the reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes if it is too thick.
Makes 1.5 cups. Serves 4.