I wasn’t planning on posting another dip/snack/appetizer sort of thing this week, but as I was planning my New Year’s appetizer lineup, I was ever so happily and unexpectedly re-united with this creamy Greek yogurt dip that I’ve been making for years. And then forgot to make for years.
It used to be that I had my little circle of recipe friends all tucked away in neat little files always at the ready to serve their appointed task whether it be dinner, breakfast, dessert, or whatever. And then the internet happened. I realize I’m dating myself a bit here, but yes, I have been cooking and collecting recipes as far back as the hand-written 3x5 card. Maybe it was even before the invention of the 3x5 card, possibly before the kind with lines. But the point is that the internet changed everything, and once I was able to access any recipe I could even imagine wanting (and 76 versions of it) at a moment’s notice, then cataloging these recipes became a massive undertaking. And yes, in the process, some of those old favorites from that original circle of friends got sort of neglected in the ensuing recipe feeding frenzy.
All of that to say that I took a moment the other day to sift through some of those old friends and imagine my excitement to see Pretza just sitting there waiting to be re-discovered and brought back to center stage where it truly belongs. This is some good stuff people… a creamy, tangy, salty (so Greek) combination of feta cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil and thyme.
And with New Years just a few days away, I thought you just might want to toast up some crostini and dip it in some pretza just before you take that first sip of champagne. I'm so doing that. Here’s the recipe…
Recipe from the San Francisco Chronicle
According to Marlena Spieler of the San Francisco Chronicle, pretza is a very traditional Greek dip, but in other research, I discovered that pretza is also a soft pungent Greek cheese that is served in much the same way as the dip. Be sure to drizzle the pretza with a little olive oil before serving.
8 ounces sheep's milk feta (preferably Greek or Bulgarian), crumbled (I actually prefer a creamy French feta)
1/2 cup or more, thick whole-milk yogurt (preferably sheep's milk) (I use Fage Greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of freshly ground white pepper (this is a must!)
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Several large pinches of thyme (dried or fresh)
Combine the feta cheese with as much yogurt as you need to make it a dip- like mixture, with little lumps of feta in a yogurt cream.
Stir in the lemon juice and season with pepper, then spoon onto a plate.
Garnish with a generous drizzle of olive oil, and a big pinch of thyme and serve with lightly toasted slices of French baguette drizzle with a little olive oil.
Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer