I’ve not been very hungry for the last week, what with heat, jet-lag and some god-awful infection that just won’t let go. But every so often, when the temperature drops and the coughing stops, I think of what I might eat. This dip, for example, might seem to be an odd choice for both the time of year and for an ‘evening’ meal but it’s perfect for making something mundane and Monday-ish, like grilled chicken, into something fancy and Friday-ish, like grilled chicken with roasted tomatoes, lemon and feta. It tastes amazing and takes seconds and, in the midst of this heatwave, it is strangely seasonal. And, no, I didn’t forget the salt and pepper: I find feta is salty enough on its own and I didn’t think it needed pepper.
I found it on my new favourite website, Sweet Paul, a place where a convalescent can get lost for hours. Even when you’re done with the blogs and the magazine (six editions, all available for free on the site) there are endless links to keep you amused. In fact, I’m not sure I have time to get better…
Lemon and feta dip (adapted from Sweet Paul’s website)
(serve with grilled chicken and roast tomatoes, or just with some pitta bread and olives)
For two portions you will need:
Cupboard (or things you may already have):
garlic, 1 small clove or ½ large clove
good olive oil, 3 tablespoons
feta cheese, 100g (half a standard UK packet)
lemon, ½ to 1 (you need a tablespoon of juice and ½ tablespoon of zest, plus a little extra for serving)
fresh thyme leaves, about a teaspoon
1. Prep: peel the garlic clove and top and tail it. Chop the feta into cubes. Zest ½ the lemon, then cut it in half and juice one half. You need a tablespoon of juice and ½ tablespoon of zest so if you have a particularly non-juicy/small lemon juice/zest the other half too.
2. Put the feta, garlic, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and most of the lemon zest and juice into a small food processor/blender. (Having made this twice, the second time I held back a bit of the juice just in case it was too sharp and kept a bit of the zest back for serving).
3. Blend until smooth. Tip into a bowl, sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest and the thyme leaves.