creamy tirosalta

4 cups    |   
Prep Time:
20 minutes

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This recipe comes from my friend and mentor Heidi Insalata Krahling’s new cookbook, Insalata’s Mediterranean Table. Heidi is one of the best cooks I’ve ever met and her restaurant in Marin County is one of the best places in the Bay Area to eat. The recipe makes a lot of dip, but it’s difficult to cut in half because of the chile. The extra keeps for a few days in the fridge and is great on toasted bread topped with sliced cucumbers for lunch or as an after-school dip with mini carrots or as a spread for a turkey or steak sandwich.


1 large poblano chile,
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
about 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (see note)
1/2 cup plain goat milk yogurt or Greek yogurt
warm pita or pita crisps (homemade or purchased), for dipping


To roast poblano, place it right on the flame of a gas stove turned to high (or place on a baking sheet right under the broiler). Roast, turning as needed with tongs, until charred all over, about 5 minutes. When blackened, transfer it to a bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside until cool enough to peel. To peel, rub off the skin  then cut off stem, slit pepper open, and remove seeds and ribs with the back of a knife. Coarsely chop.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chile, 1/3 cup of the oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and salt; process until smooth. Add feta and yogurt; process until smooth. Taste and adjust amount of oil or lemon juice for the right consistency and flavor. Transfer to a bowl; serve at room temperature with pita for dipping.

note: I like to use a French feta cheese, such as Valbreso, which is creamier and less salty than the boxed, pre-crumbled kind. Look for it in the gourmet cheese section.