Oh, Pinterest. How I love thee. Today’s recipe is yet another great Pinterest find. If you’re not on Pinterest , and you’re looking for yet another way to spend time online, go ahead and check it out: http://pinterest.com/. I’m there!
The original recipe is from the beautiful food blog How Sweet It is. I am always looking for fun, new appetizers to share with friends and this one caught my eye for a few reasons. It’s easy to throw together, it’s not your everyday party app, and you can make it up to a week ahead of time! What could be better?
I made this the same day I served it. It was wonderful and received rave reviews. The next day? Wow. So much better. If you have the time to let it rest for a day or so, go for it!
You’ll start with a few oddball ingredients: Feta cheese, a whole head of garlic, jalapeno peppers, a lemon and some olive oil. Trust me, what sounds like a bizarre combination tastes really, really good.
You’ll need to roast the garlic in the oven for about 30 minutes. To do this, just slice off the top of the garlic, place the garlic on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle it with some olive oil. Then, wrap it up in the foil and pop it in the oven.
The jalepenos also need to roast up a bit, but they won’t take as long as the garlic. I just brushed them with some olive oil, sprinkled them with a little salt and pepper, and put them in a pan with the garlic.
Once the peppers have toasted up a bit, remove them from the pan and place them in a bowl. Then, cover the bowl with foil and let them just hang in there for a while. The steam created in the bowl will make the pepper skins really easy to remove. They’ll just slide right off.
After 30 minutes, check on your garlic. If it’s a nice, toasty brown, it’s done. If not, give it a few more minutes.
While you’re waiting for things to cool, you can break up your feta blocks and zest, and juice, your lemon.
After the peppers have cooled a bit, you’ll need to skin them, seed them and chop them up. As for the garlic, once it’s cooled, you can just squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins. Mmmm…it’s like butter. Really good, garlicky butter.
Once that’s done, it all goes together in a bowl with a little olive oil for good measure.
Mix it up, cover the bowl, and stick it in the fridge. Once there, it can just hang out until you need it! The longer you wait for it, the better it tastes. It does taste better at room temperature, though, so when you are going to serve it, make sure you have it out of the fridge for a bit before your friends arrive.
I served this with toasted, mini pita rounds and olives. It would also be great with pita crisps, flatbreads or as a spread on a Greek inspired sandwich! You could even sprinkle it on a salad or spread some on some grilled steak or chicken. The possibilities are endless. Well, maybe not endless. I’d probably draw the line at pancakes.
Adapted from How Sweet It Is
- 2 - 8 oz. bricks of Feta cheese
- 3 whole jalapeno peppers
- 1 head garlic
- the juice from half of a lemon
- the zest from half of a lemon
- ¼ cup of olive oil, + 1 Tbsp.
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400*. Slice off the top of your head of garlic, place on a piece of foil and drizzle with the 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Wrap it up like a sweet little package and place in a small baking pan. Brush the whole jalapenos with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with S&P. Place the peppers in the pan with the garlic. Bake the garlic for at least 30 minutes, maybe a few minutes more, until it is a deep, golden brown. Once roasted, remove the garlic from the oven and let it cool for a bit. The peppers will take a lot less time. Remove them from the oven when they are charred and place them in a small bowl. Cover the bowl with foil and let them rest for a few minutes.
- Break up the two blocks of feta cheese with your hands in a medium bowl. Zest and juice the half of a lemon and add this to the feta.
- Once cooled, slide the skins off the peppers, remove the seeds and chop them into small pieces. WASH YOUR HANDS!!! TWICE! Then, squeeze the roasted garlic out of the garlic skins. Add the peppers and garlic to the bowl with the feta.
- Add ¼ cup of olive oil to the feta mixture. Mash the ingredients together with a fork until well combined. If you think the mixture is a bit too dry, add a little more olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to one week. Serve at room temperature. Makes about 2 cups.