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Flavors of the Mediterranean — Parsley, Dill, and Bean Dip with Feta

January 29, 2013

“Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea.”  – Pythagoras

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Pass the salt please.

We hear this often while eating meals.  I sometimes think what life in the kitchen would be without salt.  Nature’s pure offering and staple of any pantry!  It’s one ingredient that can put life in any recipe.  Just a pinch of it does wonders.  But it’s the right amount of it according to one’s taste buds that makes a recipe sing….. not too much or too little.  Hence the term, “salt to taste.”

Some overly salty feta cheese was the center to make this dip.  It was too salty for our taste buds.  Really salty.  And wasting it seemed unnecessary.  To give it a new life, I combined it with a few ingredients on hand.  A can of unsalted garbanzo beans worked well to mellow the saltiness of the feta.  Parsley added color and freshness, and dill enhanced it with its delicate flavor.  Lemon juice and garlic brought all the ingredients together.  I finished it with olive oil and a sprinkle of sumac.

And there it was ….. creamy feta and bean dip with refreshing herbs.  Lemony, garlicky, and just delicious!  A couple ounces of unappreciated feta cheese  became the inspiration of this recipe.

And the outcome was a Mediterranean feast in a bowl.

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Recipe 

2 cloves garlic

1 bunch parsley leaves (2 handfuls)

1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2-3 oz. feta cheese

2 teaspoons dried dill

Juice of one lemon (3 tablespoons)

Sea salt to taste (if needed)

Olive oil to taste

Pinch of sumac or cumin for garnish

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In a food processor, pulse garlic a couple times.  Add parsley and pulse until chopped coarsely.  Then add garbanzo beans, feta cheese, dill, lemon juice, and salt, if needed.  Puree to the consistency you like.  Add a little water with a spoon if it is too thick.

Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle some olive oil, a tablespoon or two according to your taste.  Garnish with pinch of sumac or ground cumin.

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Enjoy with your favorite crackers, vegetables, pita bread, or baked pita chips.  It’s perfect for sandwiches,  pita pockets or wraps.

Store any leftover in an airtight jar in the fridge.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2013 5:37 am

    This looks delicious, and the baked pitta chips are a great idea!

  2. January 31, 2013 8:53 am

    This sounds absolutely delicious. Great for a summer day with salad, too.

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