If you’re looking for a quick dip recipe, this Whipped Feta with Roasted Tomatoes and Chickpeas is perfect. It is great for a crowd and you can make ahead of time and assemble when you are ready to serve.
What is Za’atar?
Za’atar is a popular spice blend in the Middle East. Typically a blend of oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac, basil, and sesame seeds. Every region makes it slightly different. Some add more of each herb. Za’atar is very earthy, lemony, salty, and packs an umami flavor. The sesame seeds are toasted for a nice crunch. Za’atar really brings this Whipped Feta with Roasted Tomatoes to life.
How to eat Za’atar?
In Egypt serve Za’atar with olive oil and pita bread. A lot of countries will make homemade bread and top it with olive oil and plenty of Za’atar. “Zeit and Za’atar” means “Olive oil and Za’atar” in Arabic.
Za’atar is very versatile and a pantry must-have . Use it as a garnish, a marinade on chicken, or fish. Sprinkle it over Avocado toast, salads, or simply with olive oil and pita bread!
You can purchase Za’atar in specialty stores, or you can buy it here.
Whipped Feta Dip With Roasted Tomatoes and Chickpeas
- 16 oz cherry tomatoes
- 12 oz canned chickpeas
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 8 oz feta cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 8 oz block cream cheese
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- Za'taar and extra virgin olive oil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a sheet pan add tomatoes, chickpeas, olive oil, thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss everything together. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tomatoes have blistered and begin to burst. Set aside to slightly cool.
- In the food processor add all your ingredients. Pulse until smooth. Spread dip on a plate.
- Top with roasted tomato and chickpea mixture. Garnish with an extra drizzle of honey, za'atar, and extra virgin olive oil!
How to make ahead?
- Make the cheese dip and refrigerate.
- Roast the tomatoes and chickpeas and let cool, then refrigerate.
- Once you are ready to serve. Let the dip come to room temperature. Spread on a plate and top with the tomatoes and chickpeas. Garnish with Za’atar, olive oil, and a drizzle of honey.
First of all, if you don’t like chickpeas, you can keep them out. Second, if you don’t like cherry tomatoes, you can always substitute with roasted red peppers. Lastly, the dip itself is delicious, so you can play around with the toppings, if you don’t want this as a dip, imagine how amazing it would be in a sandwich!
Honey gives this recipe a great touch of sweetness. If you don’t want the added sugar, you can reduce the amount, or use a touch of a sugar-free honey substitute.
If don’t have ricotta cheese, that’s okay, substitute with more yogurt, mascarpone cheese, or sour cream.
What to serve this with?
This dip is great with pita chips, warm pita bread, or naan. Spoon it over crostini for as a party appetizer. Moreover, if you are looking for a gluten-free option, feel free to use your favorite gluten-free bread! Don’t forget that cut up vegetables make a great option for dipping, it is healthy, gluten-free, and gives a nice fiber boost!