Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Roasted Garlic Feta Cheese Dip

I am a dip lover through and through. Whether it's a get-together at a friend's place or to enjoy at home with the family - there is just something I love about digging into a homemade dip! And if you know me, you know that including cheese into the mix is a must. I love cheese. Semi-hard cheeses are my usual go-to when it comes to making cheesy dips, but this time I decided to switch things up and use feta cheese in this Roasted Garlic Feta Cheese Dip. The flavors of freshly roasted garlic and feta cheese blended together perfectly, a serious match made in heaven! This dip is cool, tangy and creamy with a kick of sweet + spicy - plus it's a serious cinch to make, even with roasting the garlic. Show up with this dip {plus a bag of pita chips} at your next shin-dig and get ready to be asked for the recipe!

Of course I couldn't make Roasted Garlic Feta Cheese Dip without freshly roasted garlic! I used a bulb of elephant garlic, which is basically a huge {+ much more mellow tasting} head of garlic. It's a breeze to roast in the oven and will make your kitchen smell like a garlicky paradise. If you can't get your hands on any elephant garlic, 2 cloves of regular garlic can be substituted for 1 clove of elephant garlic.

I've been wanting to try out Nikos award-winning American version of feta cheese and knew that this Roasted Garlic Feta Cheese Dip, loaded with flavors from the Mediterranean region, was the perfect opportunity. Nikos cheeses are made in Wisconsin, using milk from cows not treated with rBST, by certified cheesemakers - which is a big deal for a cheese lover like myself! I always think of feta cheese as being just for salads, but there are so many delicious ways to use it - check out Nikos site for some drool-worthy recipes. And then make sure to enter their contest for a 7-day, 6-night trip to Honolulu, Hawaii {that is during the 2015 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival to boot!} by filling out the easy-peasy entry form. Talk about a dream trip!!

The measurements for this recipe are a snap. A bulb of roasted elephant garlic, two 5.3 ounce cups of greek yogurt, 6 ounces of feta cheese and 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs. Just put it all in a food processor and let 'er go! We enjoyed this Roasted Garlic Feta Cheese Dip with pita chips but it would also be a fabulous sandwich spread.

Roasted Garlic Feta Cheese Dip
yields approximately 2 cups
1 head of elephant garlic
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
10.6oz greek yogurt, plain
6 oz feta cheese
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1. Heat oven to 425, place baking sheet in oven to heat. Wrap elephant garlic bulb in foil, twice - leaving a small hole at the top. Pour in olive oil and salt. Seal foil completely around garlic and place on pre-warmed baking sheet and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before unwrapping foil sheets. The garlic will slide right out of the skins.
2. In food processor, combine garlic, yogurt, feta cheese, rosemary, oregano and balsamic vinegar. Process until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving, overnight is ideal to allow flavors to meld.


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