About 14 years ago my sister-in-law, Katie, introduced me (by way of the most flavorful Chinese Chicken Salad) to the recipes of Ina Garten and the Barefoot Contessa. The following Christmas Katie presented me with Ina’s latest cookbook “Parties!” (the cookbook that houses said-most-flavorful Chinese Chicken Salad). I still to this day use the Christmas gift tag, written by my then 5-year old nephew, as a bookmark in my cookbook.
Last week, as a housewarming gift Katie gifted me Ina Garten’s latest, new and fabulous cookbook “Make it Ahead.”
Immediately I began flipping the pages admiring the photographs and Ina’s no-fuss recipes. A few caught my eye and I couldn’t wait to get cooking.
Two recipes from her new book inspire this side dish. I’ve “Greek-ified” them by using Mizithra cheese instead of Parmesan, although Parmesan will do just fine. I’ve also substituted Greek yogurt for cream cheese to make the whipped feta.
When I look back on our young children’s birthday parties and other spring or summer family gatherings I remember two very delicious dishes: Chinese Chicken Salad and Pasta, Pesto and Peas – both from Ina Garten’s cookbooks and introduced to me via Katie. I looked forward to attending Katie’s parties not only to celebrate the event, but because I knew I was going to be devouring these delicious foods!
There are many reasons why I am thankful for my friendship with my sister-in-law. Naming them all here would probably force this entry to exceed my word limit, however, I do think our shared love for Ina Garten’s consistently beautiful cookbooks is a pretty cool bond.
1 pound small potatoes- Youkon gold, red new, or harvest mix, scrubbed clean
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil (Flavored olive oil could be used here as an alternative)
½ cup freshly grated Mizithra (or Parmesan)
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cleaned potatoes And 1 tablespoon salt in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife or fork.
Top with Whipped Feta (recipe below) and minced fresh chives.
1 cup crumbled Greek feta
¼ cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
¼ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
Blend feta and yogurt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Mixture will be combined, but lumpy. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper and combine until smooth. Refrigerate.
©2014 by Alexandra Salidas Roll, Figs & Feta, LLC.
Recipe and photos by Alexandra Salidas Roll of Figs & Feta, LLC. Please do not reprint this recipe without permission. If you would like to feature this recipe on your blog or site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link your post to this one as the original source. Thank you!