Thursday, April 19

Sundried Tomato, Basil, Feta Dip

Is there anything better than tomatoes and basil? It's just about the perfect combination in any form. Whether it's spaghetti sauce, salad, or in this case, dip, tomatoes and basil were pretty much meant to be tasted together. Not to mention, the smell of fresh basil is absolutely intoxicating.
It's also really pretty to look at! If you don't already, try growing basil in your yard or even on a bright windowsill in your home. Just make sure to prune the plant regularly and use up the leaves as it will begin to bloom and grow more sparsely. That shouldn't be a problem though, because there is an umpteen number of things you can do with fresh basil. Start with making this dip which was inspired by the 3 Layer dip from Baba Foods that I usually buy at the Farmer's Market. You may remember my post on the morning I spent there a few weeks back. I didn't have a recipe, I didn't even have an ingredients list because I had already thrown out the container. This is my version based on what I thought I tasted and it turned out great!
I like to build the three layers in a tupperware, that way it easily goes from marinating in the fridge, to me eating it, to the table where I 'share' it with my husband even though I clearly hog it, and back to the fridge for later. For a get together, I would serve it in a small glass bowl, so you could see how pretty the stripes of red, green and white are. We love this dip with pita chips, but it would also be great on a warm baguette or toast. You could even forget about the layering altogether and toss it with some pasta for a bright and fresh tasting meal.

Sundried Tomato, Basil and Feta Dip
1/2 C jarred Sundried Tomatoes in oil (these often come already julienned, or you can cut them up yourself)
15-20 Large Basil Leaves, chopped or julienned small
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
2-3 T extra virgin Olive Oil
pinch of salt
1/2 C crumbled Feta Cheese

In a small bowl, combine the basil, garlic and pinch of salt with 1 T of the oil. Mash it up with a fork to release some of the basil flavor and go very lightly with the salt as the cheese will add plenty for you. Let that sit for about 30 minutes, the longer it sits, the better the flavor will get.
In the bottom of a glass dish, bowl or tupperware, spread the feta cheese to cover the bottom. You can add more if needed to reach an even layer. Spread the marinated basil mixture over the cheese, being careful not to mix the two layers. Finally, spread the sundried tomatoes over the basil layer. If you need to cut up your sundried tomatoes, use kitchen scissors, it makes it much easier! Drizzle the entire thing with another one to two T of olive oil. You want the oil to drip all the way through to the feta cheese, so you can add more or less. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. It will stay well in the fridge for up to a week or so.


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