This Whipped Feta Board, inspired by all those tasty butter boards out there, is packed with Greek flavors. 7 layers of them, in fact.
Visiting tapas restaurants is one of my all time favorite date nights. I like to order a variety of things and taste and talk about everything as we go. I enjoy it so much, that I then can’t wait to get into the kitchen to recreate that date at home. One of my favorite tapas-style dishes that I’ve recreated is this Whipped Feta Dip. Being inspired by the butter board trend I’ve been seeing out there, I then topped it with some amazing flavors.
The creamy, garlicky, lemony feta spread is slathered onto a serving board (or plate or small platter if you don’t have a board) and then topped with everything you love about a Greek salad—paper-thin sliced red onion, green olives, crunchy cucumber, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, banana peppers, and lots of fresh dill.
What is a Butter Board?
A butter board is somewhere between a charcuterie plate, cheese plate, and the bread and butter course served at fancy restaurants. But, it’s super-easy to do at home. You basically spread some softened butter onto a cutting board or platter, and then you top it with tasty ingredients, and serve it with bread, crackers, or pita! You can get all my tips for making simple butter boards, along with some great recipes and ideas for making your own versions over here. And, as is clear from today’s recipe, you don’t have to stick to just butter either. You can use any spread or dip as the base for your “butter” board.
What Is Feta Cheese?
Feta cheese forms the base of the spread that’s going onto the board. It’s is a soft brined cheese originally from Greece that’s salty and tangy. Traditionally made from sheep’s milk, today you’ll find varieties made partially or totally from goat or cow milk. US made, Greek-style feta that you find at most groceries is made with cow’s milk. It’s milder than authentic Greek feta, and it is therefore a great option if you’re not sure whether everyone at your table likes feta cheese.
You can find feta in blocks as well as already crumbled, but I suggest using a block for this recipe. When you get pre-crumbled or grated cheese at the store, there’s usually an additive to prevent the cheese from clumping up. The convenience of that is fine in some cases, but when melting or whipping cheese, it’s not ideal.
How To Whip Feta
Room temperature feta can be whipped into a creamy dip simply by running it through a food processor. Depending on the brand of feta, it can sometimes feel a little grainy, so I like to combine it with a little cream cheese. That gets mixed together along with lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt, and oregano.
If you don’t have a food processor, a hand-held mixer with beater attachments also works well.
Once the feta and ingredients are whipped until almost smooth, the creamy mixture can be spooned onto a presentation board, like a cheese board, or a plate or platter. Spread it out a little bit and then top with all of the fresh ingredients you thoughtfully sliced and diced.
Top with salt, pepper, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of olive oil, and serve this scoopable spread with naan or pita bread, or pita chips.Print
Serve this flavorful dip with naan or pita bread, or with pita chips.
Listen to me briefly explain how this dip made, with great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 1 (8 oz.) block of feta, room temperature
- ¼ cup plain cream cheese, room temperature
- 5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 cup green olives, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup minced roasted red pepper (about half a 6-oz. jar)
- 1 large tomato, seeded, finely diced
- ¼ cup English cucumber, finely diced
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup minced pickled banana peppers
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley or dill
- Make the whipped feta. In the bowl of a food processor add feta, cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Cover and pulse three or four times, then run the processor on high until mixture is well combined and almost smooth.
- On a medium platter or large wooden serving board, spoon whipped feta into a mound. Using the back of a spoon, spread across board to about ½-inch thick.
- On top of the feta, layer green olives, red pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, and banana peppers.
- Sprinkle remaining salt, pepper, and herbs over vegetables; drizzle with remaining olive oil.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
For a vegan option, substitute the feta and cream cheese for hummus.