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Smoky Feta Dip

By Catherine Newman 

Makes about 6 (1/4-cup) servings  

Total carbohydrates: 3 grams per serving

Hands-on time: 10 minutes  

Total time: 10 minutes 

We like to make dips with protein-rich ingredients such as cheese, beans, and nuts, because then you can eat something fun, filling, and wholesome at the same time. This dip is especially tangy and lovely because of the combination of sharp feta and sweet peppers. If you have it, the smoked paprika will add an extra kick of smokiness. But even if you don’t, the peppers will still give the dip plenty of smoky flavor.


6 ounces crumbled feta (or 6 ounces feta, crumbled)

6 to 8 ounces jarred roasted red peppers, very well drained (this is all of a smaller jar, or half of a bigger jar, or about 1 ½ peppers, if you’re the kind of person who has home-roasted peppers kicking around)

1 garlic clove, peeled

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (if you have it)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne (if you like spicy things)

¼ cup olive oil

White or sherry vinegar


  1. Put all of the ingredients except the olive oil and vinegar in a food processor or, better still, a high-speed blender, and process until very well blended, stopping as necessary to scrape down the sides of the bowl or jar with a rubber spatula.

  2. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until very creamy. Now taste the dip. If it needs a little oomph, add a splash of vinegar and blend to mix. If it’s thin or grainy, add a splash more olive oil and blend some more. (The dip will thicken in the refrigerator.)

  3. Serve with raw vegetables for dipping. (I especially like to serve it with cut-up red peppers, but maybe that’s weird.)


If peppers aren’t your thing, try increasing the olive oil to ½ cup, and add the juice and grated zest of one scrubbed lemon along with some mint, either dried or fresh. Skip the smoked paprika.

About Catherine

Catherine loves to write about food and feeding people. In addition to her recipe and parenting blog Ben & Birdy (which has about 15,000 weekly readers), she edits the ChopChop series of mission-driven cooking magazines. This kids’ cooking magazine won the James Beard Publication of the Year award in 2013 – the first non-profit ever to win it – and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Last year they started the WIC version of the magazine for families enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and are currently developing Seasoned, their senior version, commissioned by the AARP. They distribute over a million magazines annually, through paid subscriptions, doctor’s offices, schools, and hospitals. Their mission started with obesity as its explicit focus – and has shifted, over the years, to a more holistic one, with health and happiness at its core. That’s the same vibe Catherine brings to the diaTribe column.

[Photo Credit: Catherine Newman]