Poblano-Feta Dip

Yield 1.5 cups

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This creamy dip of roasted poblano chiles and feta cheese is loosely based on kopanisti, a cheese made predominantly on the island of Mykonos. The cheese inspired a popular dip of the same name. The crumbly, sharp, and spreadable cheese is mixed with red peppers during production. (In Greek, the word kopanisti refers to something that has been “beaten.”) The dip is a mixture of feta cheese, red peppers, lemon, herbs, olive oil, and garlic. I use roasted poblano chiles and add a little cumin and a lot of cilantro and mint. It tastes smoky, earthy, spicy, tangy, and fresh. Use it as a spread for sandwiches and burgers, a dip for crudités, a condiment for roasts, or a dressing for salads.

Ingredients

  • 3 poblano chiles
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp to 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  1. One at a time, char the poblano chiles by placing them directly over the open flame of a gas stove or grill. Turn them with tongs as they are roasting, until the skins of the chiles are charred and blistered all over, 1 to 2 minutes on each side. While they’re hot, place them in a large sealable plastic bag to steam for about 10 minutes. Don’t let the chiles steam for too long or they’ll start to turn brown. Remove the charred skin, rubbing it off gently with the back of a knife. Cut open one side of each chile and remove and discard the stems, seeds, and ribs. Set aside.
  2. Toast the cumin seeds in a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  3. Put the poblano chiles, cumin, cilantro, mint, feta, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, vinegar, and salt in a blender and purée on medium to high speed, adding water a tablespoon at a time, until smooth. Use just enough water to blend the mixture to the consistency of hummus. It shouldn’t be too liquidy. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.