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A garlic lover’s dream snack
Attention, garlic lovers! This Garlic Herb Feta Spread is for you. It’s a pungent and herbaceous dish you can enjoy as a dip with homemade bread, spread onto savory crostini appetizers (like my Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crostini), or even on a pizza.
It comes together easily thanks to a handful of simple ingredients. All you need is feta cheese, fresh garlic, herbs, and a few aromatics. Once they’re all married in a bowl, the flavors explode and you’ll be having a hard time leaving the dish after one taste.
Is this a date night dish? No, but it’s still worthy of special celebrations. Just make sure you have a bowl of mints or a pitcher of Mint Lemonade on the side for back up!
Inspired by an ancient recipe
This recipe is loosely inspired by the ancient Roman dish, moretum. According to Tavola Mediterranea, moretum is a vegetarian meal made with a cheesy base and enhanced with herbs, greens, and garnishes like olive oil or vinegar. All of the ingredients are pulverized together using a mortar and pestle to transform into a creamy and smooth dip.
The recipe was always popular when served at the historical reenactments I attended. My recreation is simpler than the Roman classic, but is still sure to be a hit at parties!
Garlic and herb dip ingredients
This crumbly and punchy garlic dip features some of the best ingredients: cheese, garlic, and herbs! Here are the ingredients you need:
Stay far away from pre-crumbled feta here. The anti-caking agents in pre-crumbled and pre-shredded cheese affect the flavor, texture, and creaminess. Instead, look for a block of sheep or goat’s milk feta and crumble it yourself.
The finished feta cheese spread is loose and has a crumbly texture rather than being compact and ultra-creamy. If you’d prefer the spread to be on the creamy side, break up the cheese into finer crumbs or pulse it in the food processor with the other ingredients.
Raw garlic cloves are added to the dip, giving it an almost spicy flavor. Make sure to crush the cloves with a knife first or grate them using a tool like a microplae rasp grater. Pulverizing the garlic like this enhances the flavor, ensures the garlic is spread throughout the entire dip, and prevents your guests from biting down on a chunk of sharp raw garlic.
We’re keeping it simple here! All you need is fresh parsley, cilantro, and chives. Go ahead and play with the ratios of each herb to achieve a flavor you love.
If you’d like the spread to be close to the traditional moretum recipe, feel free to add even more herbs. Some recipes add in fresh mint leaves, thyme, green onion, and dandelion leaves.
Did you know that the leaves on a stalk of celery are actually more flavorful than the celery itself? It’s true! Mixing them into the garlic feta spread adds a layer of refreshment that makes this recipe truly unique.
When you’re out shopping, look for a loose bunch of celery with a lot of leaves. I can usually get 1 cup of leaves from one big bunch of celery. You can chop up the leftover celery to serve with the dip, with another creamy dip (like Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip), or save it for a big batch of bloody marys.
Like I said, the garlic flavors in this spread are very pungent and garlicky. Raw garlic is punchy on its own but allowing it to sit in lemon juice before mixing it into the dip will help tone down the strong flavors. Plus, the acid in the citrus juice is always helpful when balancing layers of other flavors!
This will bring all of the flavors together in the end. Try not to skip it.
How to make garlic herb feta spread
I used a food processor to make this garlicky feta dip but if you’d like to keep things traditional, use a mortar and pestle instead! Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Combine the grated garlic and lemon juice in a bowl. Let them sit for about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Add the garlic and lemon mixture as well as the celery leaves, cilantro, parsley, chives, and olive oil to a food processor.
Step 3: Pulse to chop those herbs up!
Step 4: Stir the herb mixture and feta cheese together in a bowl. Cover and let it chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
Make sure there’s a bowl of this garlicy, herby appetizer ready at parties where you know garlic lovers will be in attendance. Otherwise, it can be enjoyed in endless ways, such as:
- Served at parties with fresh bread, crudites, or chips.
- Spread some onto homemade crostinis with roasted tomatoes.
- Include a small bowlful on a meat and cheese board.
- Spoon it onto a homemade pizza with basil pesto.
- Use it as a sandwich, burger, or flatbread spread.
- Enjoy it as a quick snack with bread and chips.
- Serve the bowl next to more spreadable snacks, like hummus, shallot dip, and artichoke dip.
Storing and freezing
To store the assembled dip, transfer it to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It will stay fresh for 3 to 5 days.
I do not recommend freezing the dip. Dairy has a tendency to become grainy and lose its creaminess once it’s frozen and thawed, and this recipe is no exception.
🎉 It's time to cook! 🎉
Alright, friend! It's your turn to make this delish recipe for your next get-together.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ When you do, please leave a comment and star rating below so we can hear what you think! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Garlic Herb Feta Spread
- 6 cloves garlic crushed or finely grated
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup celery leaves
- ¾ cup cilantro leaves
- ½ cup parsley leaves
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 16 ounces block feta cheese crumbled
- Garnish: drizzle olive oil, black pepper
- Combine the garlic and lemon juice in a small bowl. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a food processor.
- Add celery leaves, cilantro, parsley, chives and olive oil in the food processor.
- Pulse on high until herbs are finely chopped, scraping the sides as needed.
- Transfer the garlic herb mixture to a large bowl and add the feta cheese.
- Mix until combined.
- Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.