Saturday, November 19, 2016

Whipped Goat Cheese and Green Olive Dip

Last Year's Post:  Split Pea Soup
Two Years Ago:   Cornmeal Herb Scones

It's the holiday season in addition to football season, which means lots of parties and appetizers.  Anyone can show up with a premade veggie tray with ranch dip, but this goat cheese dip is much more interesting and sophisticated.  You can choose to serve it with pita chips and crackers, or veggies - but not boring old mini carrots, celery sticks and cherry tomatoes.  Try sweet and colorful mini bell peppers, zucchini sticks and jicama sticks for something different.  (I found precut jicama sticks in the produce section of my grocery store, which helped speed things up quite a bit.) The dip is quite tangy from the goat cheese, olives and yogurt, so sweet vegetables such as sweet peppers, zucchini and jicama complement it well.  OK, grudgingly, carrots would go really well also.

Use any type of green olives than you want, but if you choose olives stuffed with garlic you might want to hold off on the garlic in the recipe until you taste it.  Note that I made a half recipe for the photo above - a full recipe makes almost 2 cups of dip.

Whipped Goat Cheese and Green Olive Dip
Makes 1 ¾ cups dip

½ cup green olives, pitted
8 oz plain goat cheese
½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
Pita chips or crackers
Cut up fresh vegetables

In a food processor pulse olives until roughly chopped; set aside half of the mixture.  To remaining olives in food processor, add goat cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt.  Process about 1 ½ minutes or until extremely smooth and slightly aerated, scraping down sides as necessary. 

Transfer to a serving bowl; drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired, and top with reserved olives.  Serve immediately with pita chips, crackers, and/or vegetables.

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