This burnt lemon and feta dip has the lovely combination of being familiar and yet a little unexpected – a nice way to kick off a Christmas menu! The feta adds a lovely saltiness and the lemon is fresh. The slightly burnt caramelised flavour makes the whole taste much warmer and more interesting. The idea of eating something burnt might be a bit jarring, but cooking the lemon really intensifies the flavours and cuts through the ‘milkiness’ of the rest of the ingredients. The dip is essentially feta and lemon, using some crème fraiche, natural yogurt, milk or buttermilk to thin it out. You can vary it depending on what you have in the fridge, and how much tanginess you like!
I like this with different vegetable crudité like carrots and cucumber, or with breadsticks. Depending on how thick or thin you like it, it could also be good with crisps. I have to credit the lovely Oonagh who inspired me with her RIDUCULOUSLY delicious feta dip to develop my own version. Everything she makes is so delicious.
I think having a nibbles that you can serve cold or at room temperature works really well for Christmas or any other celebration meal. It means that you can eat it in a sitting room or somewhere more informal than the dining table, and doesn’t spoil the big main course that is about to come! I’ll be posting a recipe for a second nibble of smoked salmon, brown bread and lemon and chive creme fraiche. (I hate when I buy a tub of crème fraiche and only half use it!).
This recipe is genuinely easy to make and can be made a couple of days ahead of time and stored in the fridge. It tastes really nice spread on sandwiches if you do have any left over, and that’s another way to brighten up leftover turkey!
200 grams Feta Cheese
4 tablespoons creme fraiche or natural yogurt
2 – 6 tablespoons of milk or buttermilk
Heat a non stick frying pan up to a pretty high heat. Cut the lemon in half and remove any obvious pips. Place the lemon cut side down and leave it sit until it starts to get black on the edges – check it every couple of minutes. Once the cut side is looking a bit singed, turn it on it’s side to try and get some nice scorch marks on the peel. You don’t want all the lovely yellow to go black, just a few spots here and there.
Use a fork or food processer to break down the feta. It’s probably nicest when you can get the dip smooth, but a little bit of texture is no harm.
Once the lemon has cooled down, zest and juice it and add to the feta.
Mix it all together and add the crème fraiche or natural yogurt. Then add enough milk or buttermilk to get the texture you like with a little black pepper to taste.
There you have it! Enjoy it whatever way you please!