Monday, December 29, 2014

caramelized onion dip with feta, spinach, and walnuts.

New Year's eve can be oysters and champagne but if we are being honest (and I hope we can be honest) I'm pretty happy with pigs-in-a-blanket and a couple of beers. (Sometimes low-brow is best.)  

And dip!  Or at least this dip which I am so obsessed with that I may have gone to the farmer's market again today to purchase the ingredients so I can make it for a second time. (Ain't no shame in being a repeat offender.)  

I have a kind of love hate relationship with dips because most are composed of canned/jarred/bottled ingredients and while those dips can taste great they don't really involve much cooking and they aren't really special.   

But this dip is so life-changingly good that I may never need another dip recipe again.   I realize it may not be low-brow but it is a riff on onion dip which some may consider a less then classy dip.  Onion dip is traditionally composed of sour cream and mayo and pretty much everything that is bad for you but tastes good.  This version is greek yogurt and feta and all things I love which ensures you produce a dip nearly impossible to resist.  The addition of spinach and toasted walnuts is practically genius and it provides the perfect textural contrast to an otherwise smooth dip.  I'm not suggesting you have to serve this at your New Year's Eve celebration but it would be wise if you did (and this holds true even if your New Year's celebration is just you and your significant other.)  

Caramelized Onion Dip with Feta, Spinach and Walnuts
Recipe adapted from Tasting Table

Yield: About 2 ½ cups

¼ cup canola oil
1½ cups finely diced onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups packed baby or regular spinach
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½  cups whole-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano, divided (or 1 ½ teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup walnuts, toasted and crushed
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Crackers, for serving

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm ¼ cup of the canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Season them with salt and pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are light golden brown and very soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the garlic and spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted and all of the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the yogurt and feta and pulse until a little chunky.   Add spinach and onions to the food processor and pulse a few more times.  Transfer to a medium bowl.   Add 2 tablespoons of the oregano  or 1 teaspoon of the dried oregano) and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. If the dip looks too thick, stir in a tablespoon of water (as needed).

To serve, put the dip in a bowl and top it with the remaining oregano and walnuts. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with crackers.

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