Easy Peasy Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip

4 Oct

Five ingredients and done in practically no time. Here’s a great dip to pep up your evening meal.

Was looking around for something quick to make to go with bread (that’s low carb please!) and salad for a light dinner this evening and stumbled on this easy recipe.

I’ve actually made this before, not from scratch but by using a turkish red bell pepper paste called ajvar. Ajvar is basically pureed roasted red cubanelle bell peppers (the long variety) with garlic – well at least, that is the traditional recipe. Commercially-made and modern recipes these days include one or more of the following to pep it up – chili, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, onions, olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes ajvars contain both aubergines and red bell peppers as their main ingredient. Ajvar is widely used in the cuisines of many balkan countries (Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Greece – to name a few) and Turkey.

The recipe I used before to make this dip called for ajvar, feta, garlic and olive oil plus herbs. Since I never knew the proportions of the spices contained in the ajvar, I’ve always made this dip using ready-made ajvar thinking that I would not get it right if I didn’t use it. So what a surprise I got when I made the dip below today and found that you get almost the same thing and all I had to do was roast a fresh bell pepper. Both the bell-shaped and cubanelle varieties work. Adding the extra ingredients mentioned above is a personal thing and there is no right or wrong! No need to run to the turkish quarter to buy ajvar anymore, hurray!

I found a recipe on Epicurious which seemed enough to feed a crowd so I quartered the recipe (quantities in the recipe below are already quartered) and added chili flakes for a kick. The key to making a great dip is to taste and adjust as you go along. I’ve found that different fetas have different degrees of saltiness. So you’ll have to adjust your seasoning and find the right balance. Adding some parsley or walnuts is also yummy.

Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip (makes about 3/4 cup)

1 large red bell pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
100 gr Feta cheese
optional: chili flakes or 1 small fresh red chili, deseeded

Turn the grill on and roast your red pepper on all sides till the skin is charred and has black spots. Remove your red pepper from the oven and either put it in a clean plastic bag, wrap it in foil or put it in a closed container (a bowl with plate on top is good too) for about 10-20 minutes. The heat from the hot pepper creates steam which will make your pepper easier to peel. If the skin doesn’t come off easily, your pepper wasn’t quite done. That’s ok, you’ll get it right next time. Peel the pepper, cut in half, remove stem and seeds, and slice.

Cut the rest of your ingredients into pieces. Put everything, olive oil included, into a food processor and puree to the consistency you want. I like my dip almost smooth.

That’s it!

PS. I made this without garlic for my husband but it doesn’t taste as good. You could roast a batch of red bell peppers and marinate the rest in olive oil and vinegar for antipasti.

Nutritional Information – for whole recipe above

Total Calories – 429.1 kcal; Fat – 35.8 g; Carbohydrates – 18.5 gr; Protein – 16.7 gr

Print this recipe – Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Dip


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