Last night some friends and I went to Papa Cristo’s, a popular Greek restaurant in downtown LA for a cooking class. Papa Cristo himself led the group to the industrial kitchen, gave us some snacks and homemade wine, and then and taught us how to make moussaka (which was good and very authentic, though I’m not a huge moussaka fan) and a super simple feta cheese dip, which I loved. Here’s how to make the dip:
1 lb Greek (this is important) feta cheese, 1.5 tbsp oregano, 1/2 cup Greek olive oil (extremely important – Papa Cristo talked a lot about his love for olive oil and how it was a ‘gift from God’ and that there was no such thing as expensive olive oil because it’s so important), optional 1 tbsp dried red peppers for heat
1. Take feta out of fridge about 30 minutes before you begin
2. Once feta is soft enough, combine all ingredients in a large bowl
3. With hands or mixer, thoroughly smoosh (Papa Cristo’s exact words) thoroughly all ingredients until it becomes smooth
4. Spoon dip into a serving bowl, cover and chill
Serve with pita chips or veggies like cucumber and red pepper, and try not to eat it all before your guests arrive 😉
Nicoise salads are one of my favorite things to make during the summer (or during a very hot spring like we’re having) when I feel like something light, healthy, and easy for lunch or dinner. I usually make mine with traditional packed tuna (good quality tuna, either Italian or Spanish) but decided to switch things up the other day and used salmon, which was just as good. I seared the salmon in a hot pan before roasting it for a few minutes which makes it crispy and delicious, but simply baking or poaching it would be good as well. I learned the salmon making trick from Ina’s Salmon and Lentils recipe – try it, I promise you’ll be glad you did.
I followed this recipe for the salad, omitting the radishes since I didn’t have any, and am planning to make it again this weekend for a bbq we’re having. Let me know if you try making a Nicoise, or if you have a different recipe I should check out. Have a good day!
I love finding recipes that can help to use up random ingredients I happen to have on hand kitchen, like the Harissa in this Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas that the recipe calls for, which I last used for this recipe. As a bonus, I also already had pretty much everything else that this recipe called for, only having to pop out to buy the chicken. The recipe calls for chicken thighs which are first browned and then simmered with the chickpea and Harissa mixture in a hot oven and end up tasting very tender and delicious, but if you just can’t handle them and only like chicken breasts, then I’m sure that would be fine too. Maybe do a mix actually just to see!
Click here for the full recipe – it’s quite simple to follow and yields a healthy, hearty one pot meal that I think you’ll love (so long as you like a bit of spice…be sure to taste your Harissa first because the heat level varies a ton from jar to jar!).