Whipped feta, fried dates, Date Molasses, dill
This has to be the recipe of the summer for us. Such a great contrast of flavours that all work so harmoniously together. If you don’t like dill, make any other herb oil in the same way and keep any leftover for all sorts of salad dressings. This would be great with fresh figs as well when in season. The date molasses could be swapped for our very own pomegranate or sour cherry molasses’ too.
For the dill oil:
25g/1 bunch dill (save 2 sprigs for garnish)
100ml Early Harvest Olive Oil
For the whipped feta:
200g feta, crumbled
200g Greek yoghurt
For the dates and final dish:
200g stone in dates
2 tbsp Early Harvest Olive Oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 tsp toasted black sesame seeds
Zest of 1 lemon
- To make the dill oil, place the dill and the olive oil into a blender and fully blitz. Place the oil and dill mixture into a medium saucepan on a medium heat. In the meantime, place a sieve lined with some kitchen roll over a heatproof bowl and set aside.
- The dill oil mixture should be sizzling by now, with lots of bubbles forming on the surface. This is the water from the dill evaporating in the hot oil. The bubbles will get bigger as the mix continues to sizzle.
- After around 3 minutes, the bubbles should have reduced, and any remaining will be bigger than the ones before. Once the bubbles have nearly all gone, around a minute later, drain the oil mix into the sieve. What you will be left with in the heatproof bowl should be a really bright green dill oil. Set aside to cool.
- For the whipped feta, place the crumbled feta into the bowl of a food processor and blitz into a mix that is as smooth as possible. Add 1/3 of the Greek yoghurt, and blend again. Remove the feta mix and add to the remaining yoghurt. Whisk and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
- To prepare the dates, remove the stone and slice into quarters, lengthways.
- Place large frying pan on a medium to high heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and wait a minute for it to heat up. Add the quartered dates in one even layer and allow them to fry in the hot oil for a couple of minutes. Flip them over to get the other side crispy for another minute. Add the date molasses and the lemon juice, coat to mix and turn off the heat.
- To serve, plate the whipped feta, top with the fried dates and all the sauce, sprinkle the nigella and sesame seeds and the dill oil and some extra date molasses then sprinkle the lemon zest and remaining dill.
- Enjoy with some crusty bread or warm pitas and a glass of orange wine.