On Saturday, I had a long chat with one of the gracious owners of Sevan Bakery in Watertown about his whipped feta spread. He sells it, but he also sells all the ingredients that go into it. The last time I tried to whip feta it came out too runny (I pureed it in a food processor).
I happened to mention to my friend Sara, a very good cook, that I was trying whipped feta again even though it wasn't much of a success the one other time I tried it. "You need to add something like yogurt to give it body," she said.
My yogurt is Liberte, which is delicious, but doesn't have much body. I did have fromage blanc from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery (I keep it on hand to make a quick, herby nibble if someone drops by). So I whipped the French feta, added a couple generous spoonfuls of the brick-red pepper spread, a little maras pepper (this is the Turkish version of crushed red pepper and a favorite ingredient of mine), some grated onion, and fromage blanc.
Pulse, pulse, pulse, then taste, taste, taste, taste, taste. I couldn't stop. I called my husband to the kitchen to indulge with me.
For her good advice, Sara got a sample of whipped feta and a jar of red pepper paste.
Spicy whipped feta spread
8 ounces creamy feta (such as French feta)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons mild Turkish red pepper paste, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon maras or other crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons grated onion
4 ounces fromage blanc, Greek yogurt, or sour cream
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Extra maras or other crushed red pepper (for garnish)
1. In a food processor, combine the feta, olive oil, red pepper paste, maras or other crushed red pepper, and onion. Pulse the mixture until smooth.
2. Add the fromage blanc, Greek yogurt, or sour cream. Pulse just to mix it. Taste for seasoning and add more red pepper paste, maras pepper, or grated onion, if you like.
3. Pack the spread into a bowl and sprinkle with olive oil and extra maras or crushed red pepper. Sheryl Julian
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ContributorsSheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.
Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.
Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.