For a Mediterranean twist on a Mexican favorite, make this aromatic dip for your next Greek- or Italian-inspired dinner.
Your favorite summer dip just got a makeover. This summer, the “guac” is putting on it’s Mediterranean sandals and dancing to a new groove: feta and herb guacamole.
I can guess what you’re thinking: “Why change a good thing?”
Yes, the O.G. guacamole is the life of the party in the summer, but that doesn’t mean it can’t adapt to different parties and tastes. Chances are you know someone who doesn’t love spicy food – especially the raw garlic in traditional guac. Therefore, why not create a variation that satisfies both guacamole lovers and non-spicy eaters?
Or can I entertain you with this idea: “Why not both?”
A new spin on a classic.
Guacamole originated from the Aztecs as “ahuaca-mulli,” which translates to “avocado sauce” or “avocado mixture”. They used the same ingredients often found in guacamole today – garlic, spices and wild onions. European conquistadors loved the dish and attempted to bring it back to their home countries.
But like other American staples (chocolate and corn), avocados could not grow well on European lands. In Spain and Italy, many tried to supplement avocados with other fruits or ingredients, but none could compare.
It wasn’t until the mid 1900s that recipes for “waka’mole” and “huaka’mole” started to surface. Despite marketing efforts to promote the dip as originating from Pacific islands, Americans reclaimed the dip as a side typically served with Mexican and Mediterranean meals later than century.
What makes it Mediterranean?
If we associate cilantro, tomatoes and onion with the tradition version of Mexican guacamole (all native to the Americas when we consider wild onion), what then is its Mediterranean counterpart?
Enter, feta and herb guacamole. Feta, an indisputably Greek cheese first mentioned in the Odyssey, combined with a mix of fragrant herbs delivers that touch of saltiness and aroma common to food around the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, this version pairs far better with your Greek salad than a bowl of garlic and cilantro-scented guacamole will.
My suggestion: Go all-in on the Greek theme. Serve this spread with crostini, drizzle with olive oil, and top with a Kalamata olive for a tasty appetizer.
For a Mediterranean spin on a Mexican classic, make this aromatic dip for your next Greek or Italian-inspired meal. Serve with pita and fresh vegetables.
- 4 oz cream cheese (I prefer reduced-fat)
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. za’atar (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil for drizzling
- In a medium-small bowl, mash the cream cheese and avocado together until well combined. Fold in the feta, herbs, and salt and pepper so as to not crush the feta too much. Drizzle the lemon juice on top, and lightly mix.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let the dip refrigerate for 15-20 minutes before serving.
- Serve in a shallow bowl with olive oil drizzled on top.
If you don’t have za’atar, replace with a blend of sumac, dried oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, and more thyme.