We are forecasted to have an absolutely beautiful weekend in Halifax. Whenever nice weather comes our way I feel there are a few activities one must partake in. Now that the patios are out I totally support your decision to drink margaritas, sangria or beer by the pitcher on a patio at any fine Halifax establishment. If you don’t feel up to heading downtown for any reason (heads up the Blue Nose Marathon is this weekend) you should instead plan a BBQ, or a picnic. Invite some friends, or family or your neighbours and just relax with good people and food outside. Growlers from Garrison Brewery or Propeller Brewery should be invited, just sayin’.
When you do plan a BBQ this weekend, or get invited to one, remember that BBQing can be hard work, especially when you have a few hungry and slightly buzzed people hanging around you. To prevent ‘vulture’ syndrome, as I like to call it, make a dip before people come over so you have something to snack on while you sip on drinks and get to work cooking food.
I know what you are thinking, well what is a quick and easy dip, right? Why not try something new, something fresh and low in fat and calories and high in flavour like this Mediterranean Yoghurt and Feta Dip. You can choose to make labneh with 0% yoghurt and also use light feta to cut down on the calorie and fat count in this already good option. The lemon juice and zest adds zing, straining the yoghurt to make labneh makes it thick and creamy as cream cheese without the extra fat and the fresh veggies mixed with the salty feta and olives to give this dip bite.
If you are short on time you can use plain Greek yoghurt however it won’t be as creamy and thick as if you strain it the night before.
Mediterranean Yoghurt Dip
- 1 recipe of labneh, yields approximately 1+1/2 cups
- 1 green onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1-1 1/2 tbs)
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/3 cup finely diced mix of peppers
- 4-6 black olives, pitted and diced
- 1/4 cup of crumbled feta
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste
- extra green onion and olive oil for garnish
Make the labneh the day before you want to make this dip.
Prepare the vegetables, thinly slice the green onion reserving some for the garnish. Finely dice any peppers, pit and dice the black olives and place in a medium sized bowl with all the labneh. Zest and juice your lemon and add to the yoghurt along with olive oil, oregano, garlic salt and pepper. Stir all the ingredients together, and then add the crumbled feta and combine.
Check for seasoning, you may need a bit of sea salt. Let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavours marry.
You can absolutely make this the night before you want to serve it. Garnish with more olive oil and green onions, serve with rice crackers or grilled Greek pita and veggies.
Not ready for something new? Why not try an old favorite like guacamole and pico de gallo that is great served with corn chips. Hummus of all kinds are welcome served with fresh veggies and pita. Dill dip goes great with thick pretzel sticks, or pretzel crackers but if you are craving a rich cheesy dip try my garlicky nacho dip.