Thursday, June 30, 2011

Creamy Olive & Feta Dip

I love olives. Ever since I was a little kid, I would simply fish them out of whatever container they were in and eat them. To be honest, I still do that now. I can't cook with olives or even have them around unless I just accept that I'm going to be playing, "one for the recipe, one for me". Unfortunately, you can't grow olives in New England, so it's one of the items I buy from various sources across the world. They're little luxuries. However, Lindsay Olives is making a good olive, more widely available these days.

Now, let me be up front here. Lindsay Olives is not sponsoring this post, nor am I getting anything in return from them for this. I'm simply a recipe developer who wanted an entry into their "Love this Recipe" Contest.

Lindsay Olives was a sponsor at Eat, Write, Retreat in D.C. last month. A food blogging conference I was lucky enough to attend. It was there I was introduced me to the new line of Lindsay Naturals. Their olives (black or green, I used green today) that are packed with water and sea salt, and that's it. In general, I'll pick up olives from little local specialty stores in my area, which is great. However, it can get pricey on occasion and if I'm picking up staples at the grocery store, or if you're in a place in the country where the supermarket is your only option, these olives are fantastic, and a good choice.

I use olives in a multitude of ways, but as some kind of snack is, in general, my favorite way of consuming these lovely little things. The husband, however, is a fan of dip. Let's be honest again here, so am I. I'm a dip kind of gal. I tend to go overboard now and again, I have a problem with willpower when it comes to these dishes. So when I heard Lindsay wanted all their consumers to come up with recipes using their olives, I was so game for a dip.

This dip is simple. It uses things you probably have on hand and you can also adapt it to your taste. I served it up with tortilla chips, but I think pita chips, or a good bread would compliment this one perfectly. I do not take any responsibility if you eat this in one serving.

Creamy Olive and Feta Dip
Serves: In my case, 1, but it makes a pie dish's worth or an 8x8 baking dish's worth

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 block (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 6 oz. can green olives (or about 2 cups of olives), sliced
1 teaspoon capers (optional, I like the saltiness they add)
1 teaspoon good-quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan or skillet (even a dutch oven would work), heat olive oil over medium heat. Once warmed, add your onions and cook until softened (about 3 minutes). At this point, add your garlic, stirring to make sure it doesn't brown and turn bitter. Cook for another 30 seconds or so.

Now, put your softened cream cheese into the pan. Using whatever utensil you're stirring with, break it up into chunks so it melts faster. Once it melts down to a stirrable form, add your heavy cream and stir to combine everything well.

Next, you're going to add your olives, capers, balsamic vinegar, and oregano. Stir until everything is coated and well incorporated.

Finally, take a pie dish or 8x8 baking dish, and transfer your cream cheese mixture to it. Sprinkle the top with your feta cheese.

Pop into the oven and bake 30 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve with your dipping vessel of choice. Pin It


Veronica said...

I love olives and feta. I bookmarked this and will make it soon. I have a vegatarian friend I think will love this. I will pass it on to her. said...

I am the only person I know that does not like olives :/ ... but I LOOOOVE feta! :) 

Heidi @ Food Doodles said...

That looks amazing!  I actually don't like olives either(and I don't know anyone else that doesn't, how strange?) but I love all the other flavors in this.  Plus all that cheese, golden around the edges, looks amazing!

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

This dip is so adaptable. Instead of olives, try spinach or some kind of green. It all works!

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

I know a few people who don't like olives... but this recipe is so adaptable you could do a green of some kind as well!

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

 Glad you like! I love olives and cheese of almost every sort! :-)

Kimberley said...

This dip sounds ridiculously delish!

Dan Clapson said...

You won me over with the addition of capers. I love capers! When I come visit, let's just sit, have some drinks and eat olives out of jars! :) Deal?

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

That sounds like heaven, yes please!

Jael said...

Ohhhhhhh yum. I have a favorite feta-and-roasted-pepper dip, but nothing quite as creamy as this, and therefore it must be tried.

bellini said...

The Lindsay olives were truthfuly the best I have had so far. I loved that they were not overly salty. They would be perfect for this dip Kimmy.

Sara Lancaster said...

Wonderful sounding  dip! I'm often asked to bring a tapenade to the party, which is starting to get old. This will be an awesome alternative.

Ruthie said...

Does this firm up when it cools?  If it does, you could bake it in phyllo and have a nice sliceable appetizer.  Maybe even layer in some spinach or something and tell yourself it's healthy! 

Jenniferlgardner1 said...

hey kimmy - made your dip this weekend for my family and it was SO yummy!  I'm sure my blood pressure isn't thanking me because it was a tad salty but i really liked it! - Jen gardner

Kimmy @ Lighter and Local said...

I'm glad you liked it! I always like hearing back when someone tries something. If it was a tad too salty for you, omit the capers the next time. They tend to lend a salty flavor to it!

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Dorothycitizen said...

This is beyond
doubt a delightful recipe! I enjoy making this dish and it didn’t upset me.
Moreover, this marks one of my favorite dishes! I also love “All-American
Chocolate Cake” , “Beef Fillet with Red Wine” , and “ Pigeon with Wild
Fountain Cress”  That I discovered at and . Try to glance at those sites,
and find your new favorite dishes. Have fun!!