Edamame Dip With Feta Cheese

edamame

We're officially in December, folks!  Can you believe it?  Here at our house we have a kinda-crazy-mini-United-Nations-thing going on and yes, we celebrate Christmas.  I know, I know, throws some of your for a loop - just keeping on your toes . . . .

So I don't know about you, but my joy of the season always comes with a side of pure panic.  Especially this year - our schedule is very hectic leading up to Christmas, and frankly, I'm not sure how I'm going to pull it all off.  I know it'll happen, somehow, but I'm also anticipating some late nights and close calls.  I'm going to re-frame it as EXCITING!

I know for sure that this is the time of year when I start to feel run-down and over-fed.  There are so many lovely parties, fun get-togethers with friends, etc. and with those comes rich, special holiday food.  And then there is my penchant for baking (stay tuned for cookie-palooza '09).  So where I can, I economize - I strive to eat uber-healthy in the off-time, and when I can, I contribute healthy, but delicious foods to the mix.  There are lots of people in my life who are NOT excited to eat the way I do, and I'm not looking to alienate anyone . . . .

This dip is a good compromise.  It looks pretty, tastes great, is easy to prepare, and SURPRISE! It's not awful for you.  It's in my regular rotation of items to bring to parties, and I've found that all but the staunchest I-like-cheese-on-top-of-my-meat-and-potatoes people likes it.  Seriously. 

Edamame Dip With Feta Cheese

2 c. frozen shelled edamame
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese (again, I urge you to buy the block and crumble it yourself - tastes worlds better (cheaper too)!!)
2 1/2 T lemon juice
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.  Add edamame and garlic and return to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until the edamame is tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1/2 c. cooking liquid.

Place edamame, garlic, 1/4 c. cooking liquid, feta, lemon juice, oil, a pinch or two of salt and a few cranks of pepper in the bowl of a food processor.  Puree, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is completely smooth.  Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary - remember, feta is salty, so don't add too much salt before you whirl it up and give it a taste.

Transfer to a serving bowl or storage container and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavors to marry.  Thin with additional coking liquid if desired.  Serve at room temperature.

This makes 1 3/4 c. of dip.  It's great with store-bought pita chips and/or crudites.