GREEK GOODNESS DIP
Friday, April 22, 2016
Tiny little and big fat, taste and texture explosions of salty, savory, fresh Greek goodness. Swoop, scoop, slather, munch. Repeat. Opa!
When I relax, and plunk down on my couch, there's nothing but windows in front of me, which brings the outside, in.
I don't have a drop-dead gorgeous view. I have nature. It surrounds me. I am in the forest.
Through the open windows I hear the Spring rushing of our backyard creek. Usually a happy, meandering, laughing-out-loud-as-it-jumps-over-the-rocks brook, it is now fancying itself, by the sheer power of this new season, something more. Is it a river?
I see bright green leaves popping out everywhere. The sun breaks through and makes everything that much greener.
Humbirds revel in the fact that we were the early birds, thinking ahead and put out those filled to the brim feeders.
We're ever watchful, anticipating the first exciting sighting of a lumbering, hungry bear just out of hibernation, sniff his way through our backyard.
The forest never disappoints. The spirit of trees, creek, sky, nature, smack me right in the kisser.
So I cook.
In the evening the sun peeks in, in between the trees, in between the leaves. It's art, and it's breathlessly beautiful.
I wonder again how many people get to experience this particular joy. This brand of beauty.
It's a good ponderance.
During exactly such a ponderance, I grabbed my tablet, headed directly to the table on my back lanai so I could be amongst it all....be one with the forest. But, with my handy dandy Surface Pro 3 in tote. Ooooooh, a rather fun juxtaposition, indeed. Don't you just love such yin and yangs?!
And that my friends is exactly what lead me to crossing paths with some Pinterest posts that some very clever kitchen artisans put together, knowingly combining a good schwack of those always delicious Greekish ingredients, resulting in a rather divine dogpile of beauty and flavour, flavour.
I did not copy-cat any one or two specific recipes, but more just mixed and matched our fave stuff, until I ended up with this stacked goodness. It's easy peasy, and fun, and pretty. It's great with warm pita or naan bread, pita chips, crusty little baguette slices, you name it.
We had ours with bite-sized, tender morsels of grilled leg-of-lamb steaks with vinegary mint sauce and warm naan bread.
And if you can get your hands on some great quality Olive Oil to drizzle over the top of your Greek Goodness, all the better to munch you with my dear.
Recently, whilst wandering the aisles of one of my all-time favorite stores, Valoroso Italian Foods, I found this gloriously tasty Venta del Baron Extra Virgin Olive Oil, that even comes in a box with a sticker that boasts, "World's Best Olive Oils Campaign 12/13 First Prize" and you don't have to reach very deep into your pockets, to buy it. Bonus!!
Now put your listening ears on, "Go get some of this golden elixir." I promise it'll make you smile when you drizzle it here, drizzle it there.
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"When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself."
~ Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
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GREEK GOODNESS DIP
1 - 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried dillweed
3 plump garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
About 1 1/2 cups Ethereally Smooth Hummus, or your favorite hummus
About 1 cup seeded, diced English cucumbers
About 1 cup diced, firm, tomatoes (2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 cup purple onion, chopped
About 1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese (I use creamy Sheep feta....Mmmm)
2 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
In bowl of electric mixer, combine cream cheese, lemon juice, dillweed and minced garlic. Beat until light and fluffy. Spread on the bottom of serving tray, pie plate or shallow casserole dish. Then spread hummus evenly over top.
In order, create layers by evenly sprinkling with cucumbers, then tomatoes, then olives, then onions, then Feta. Top with parsley. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
(If using a serving dish, similar to what I did, you may have to drain a smidgeon of liquid that gathered on the bottom.) Drizzle with olive oil and serve with warm pita or naan bread, pita chips, crackers, or your fave dippers. Opa!
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The forest sky smiles in a hundred shades of blue.
May the Forest be with you......