Mar 26 2010

A Dip and a Dressing, Just Like Home

Published by at 9:18 pm under Entertaining,Lunch,Starters

One of my favorite restaurants in my hometown of Jackson, Mississippi is an uber-casual Greek spot called Keifer’s, located downtown. In high school, all of my friends (even the ones who lived half an hour away) would trek down for the sole purpose of indulging in their favorite Pita Mozz or Pita Feta — depending on cheese preference. This is exactly what it sounds like: a pita slathered in oil and cooked on the skillet with a generous helping of delicious, equally oily cheese.

The best part? The feta dressing that comes on the side. It’s a creamy, rich dressing bursting with that sharp feta flavor, so good that you can feel your pores practically clogging while you chow down.

With a recipe given to my by my assistant’s stepmom as my inspiration, I created an ever-so-slightly healthier version of the feta dressing I love so much. The trick was to use extra (extra!) thick plain yogurt as the base instead of the standard mayonnaise, but you can barely taste the difference. My version is a bit thicker than the mayo-based concoction, but the flavor is strikingly similar.

So far, I’ve used it to top a Greek salad, a Mediterranean pasta, and as a dip with crudités. Enjoy!

Yogurt Feta Dressing

Ingredients (makes about 3 cups, but it will keep in the fridge for up to a month):

1 cup plain thick Greek yogurt (I used Fage 2%, which I highly recommend)

2 cups feta cheese

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil

A pinch (about 1/2 tsp.) each of dried basil and dried oregano

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. Don’t blend until it’s completely smooth; you want to preserve some of the feta chunks!

For the pasta, I boiled farfalle (1/2 box white and 1/2 box whole wheat, because that’s what I had on hand) and mixed in cherry tomatoes and a yellow pepper, both of which I had roasted on 375 degrees for about 20 minutes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I also added in canned quartered artichoke hearts and pitted kalamata olives, then mixed the pasta and veggies with about 3 tbsp. of the feta dressing. Can be served hot or cold.

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “A Dip and a Dressing, Just Like Home”

  1. Riverson 27 Mar 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I’m so excited about this! definitely going to try it! does it really taste like Keifer’s?

  2. Livon 27 Mar 2010 at 7:36 pm

    So glad you’re reading and enjoying the recipes! Keep me posted if you try anything because I’d love to know how it turns out. This version of the feta dressing is a little thicker than Keifer’s, but I think the flavor is right on!

  3. caseyon 06 May 2010 at 7:26 am

    I LOVE Keifer’s feta dip! If I use mayo instead of the yogurt, will it be closer to the original? I have been looking for a decent feta cheese dip for a while. Definitely going to try this one this weekend.

  4. Livon 06 May 2010 at 9:02 am

    Hi, Casey — I love it too! I’m positive they use mayo instead of yogurt at Keifer’s, so definitely stick with that if you want it to be more like the original. Just substitute all of the yogurt for mayo and you should be good.

  5. Caseyon 18 May 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Liv-
    I tried the recipe and it is SO good! It tastes just like Keifer’s dip! I made roasted potatoes to dip in it. Yum. Also tastes great with Golden Flake sweet heat bbq chips haha. Thanks!

  6. Livon 19 May 2010 at 9:55 am

    Casey, I’m so glad it worked out! The roasted potato idea sounds amazing — thanks for the tip!

  7. liv bites » Lamburgerson 24 May 2010 at 8:35 pm

    [...] the next girl (probably more — my mom keeps ketchup packets in her glove compartment) but the yogurt feta dressing I made a few months back seemed like the perfect way to Greek-ify my burger. A little bit of that, [...]

  8. Tabithaon 05 Feb 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I’m also from the Jackson area and consider Keifer’s a must-visit on any trip home. Since I now live in Richmond, Va., my craving for their feta dressing led me to your blog (via Google). I can’t wait to attempt your imitation. The yogurt substitute seems like a great idea. However, I was more a fan of the marinated cucumbers than the pita mozz. I don’t suppose you have any suggestions for replicating the cucumber salad?

  9. Livon 10 Feb 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Tabitha! I LOVE going to Keifer’s whenever I possibly can. Definitely try the dressing and let me know how it goes!

    As for the cucumbers, I’m not exactly sure how they do them. I’d recommend marinating them in olive oil and red wine vinegar, along with some dill, salt and pepper. I’ve done it before, and it’s delicious!

  10. Megon 01 Jul 2011 at 9:37 am

    KEIFFR’S MARINATED CUCUMBER SALAD

    8-10 cucumbers

    1 large onion, sliced thin

    4 cups white vinegar

    4 cups water

    3/4 cup sugar

    1 tablespoon dry basil

    Wash and stripe cucumbers. Slice 1/4-inch thick and mix with sliced onion. Combine vinegar, water, and sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture over cucumbers and onions, then sprinkle basil on top. Make sure that liquid covers all cucumbers, and marinate at least overnight. Serves approximately 12.

    Keifer’s Restaurant is located in an old house wrapped with porches in the historic Belhaven neighborhood in Jackson, specializing in pita wraps, and featuring Gyros, hummus, felafel, Greek salads, and baklava. The restaurant was established in 1980 with a unique and casual atmosphere. Keifer’s is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (601) 355-6825, 705 Poplar Boulevard, Jackson.

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