This cream whipped feta dip with harissa is something sooo special, it’s got to be my new favourite dip. The cream cheese & feta whipped combination, accompanied by the tunisian harissa paste, is such a striking pairing that you’ll want to eat the whole dip yourself. You may have seen the viral whipped feta dip everywhere, but with the addition of the smoky & spicy harissa oil, I can guarantee this will be your favourite.The tangy creamy feta perfectly balances the spicy chilli peppers and garlic to bring you an eclectic mix of full flavours. Offering protein from the feta and cream cheese with antioxidants from the spices, lemon, parsley and garlic and of course those essential omegas from olive oil, this dip provides an amazing balance of nutrients and a sophisticated appetizer for summer lunches. The pairing options are endless! It goes with flatbreads, couscous, stir it into sauces (I made a delicious pasta recipe the other day with it) or enjoy with some crisps.
The star of the show. The salty, rich and tangy feta that we usually find crumbled in a salad, is whipped into the most flavourful dip/spread. Use full fat here so the flavour profile and nutrients are maximised.
I have opted to use low fat cream cheese here to slightly reduce the calories and fats. We already have a whole block of feta in this recipe, which we will be receiving the nutrients and flavour from the fats, so we can afford to use low-fat cream cheese here. Promise the flavour won’t be compromised!
With all the richness of the cream cheese, we need an extra bit of acidity/tang to cut through the creaminess and brighten up the flavour. Enter lemon juice. I haven’t tried lime juice but can imagine that would do the job just fine. Preferably use fresh lemon juice to maximise the flavour and nutrients, but if you only have bottled lemon juice, use that instead.
As we aren’t heating the oil, I’ve opted for extra-virgin olive oil. This is the most flavourful oil which will really amplify the flavours within the harissa paste.
Apologies, I have chosen a slightly expensive ingredient here, but this dip is for special occasions and the harissa paste it what brings it to a 10. You’ll only be using 1 tbsp of harissa paste, so to keep the costs down of your weekly shopping bill, try out these other harissa recipes to use up the remaining amount in the jar: https://beatthebudget.com/recipes/harissa-fish-chickpea-tray-bake/
To make the dip, start by adding the feta, cream cheese, lemon juice and garlic to a food processor. Add some salt.
Blend together until you have a smooth and creamy dip.
Mix the extra virgin olive oil and the harissa paste, which makes a great combination before seasoning with a pinch of salt. In the meantime cut your flat breads in halves and toast them ready to serve with the dip. photo 3
Now your feta dip is ready to add to a serving bowl and then add a swirl of the harissa oil over the top, before adding a few fresh curly parsley leaves. Add a sprinkle of paprika and you are ready to impress with this beauty!
What is harissa?
Harissa is a Tunisian hot pepper chili paste, with the primary ingredient being roasted red peppers. The level of spice can be dependent on the brand so this could be something to research if your worried about the heat!
What is feta cheese made from?
You might be wondering how feta has such a unique flavour when compared to other cheeses. This is due to the main ingredient being sheep’s milk (or a mixture of sheeps/goats milk). I love using it in recipes as although it is high in fat, you can use less of it (in comparison to other cheeses) as it has such a powerful, tangy flavour.
How should I store the feta dip/ how long will the dip last in the fridge?
Store the dip in the fridge for maximum freshness. Once refrigerated though, the dip becomes more of a spread so bare that in mind. If you want to enjoy it as a dip again after refrigerating, set aside to come up to room temperature for an hour before consuming. Consume within 5 days of preparing to stay safe (although I have waited longer). You can freeze this too if you’re worried about leaving it for too long- I don’t think that’ll be an issue though as it’s that good hehe.