Whenever I make a Greek or eastern Mediterranean meal, I like to make a couple of spreads as starters. I always serve them with triangles of pita bread, but vegetables or sturdy crackers work too. One of these spreads is the ever-popular hummus (which I posted yesterday); another is the less common but extremely flavorful htipiti, a Greek dip made of feta, grilled onion, pepperoncini, and roasted red pepper. A local restaurant makes a version too hot for some of my friends (I happen to love it), but this recipe is spicy, full of flavor, and still mild enough for almost everyone. If you have a food processor, this is a very easy dish, but it’s also one most of your guests (unless you only entertain Greeks) have never had.
Htipiti (Feta and pepper dip)
- 1/2 large yellow onion thickly sliced
- extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- 8 ounces feta cheese crumbled (preferably Greek or French)
- 1/2 12- ounce jar roasted red peppers cut into strips
- 3-5 pepperoncini sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 pinches ground coriander
- 2 pinches ground cumin
- 4 sprigs fresh Italian parsley stems removed
- 4 sprigs fresh dill stems removed
- 1 tablespoon sliced scallions green part only
- 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Preheat a cast-iron skillet.
Brush onion slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill until tender and slightly charred.
Combine onion, feta, and all remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth.
Taste for seasoning, but be careful with salt.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Recipe NotesAdapted from _How to Roast a Lamb,_ p. 195.