Farmer's Cheese & Pistachio Dip with honey
This recipe is based on a dip I have had a small love affair with, while never knowing where it came from for years! It often arrived at my neighbors house on a snack tray at parties, afternoons in the yard or generally any reason to get together...
Over the years, each time it was set in front of my face - like a sexy mystery that could get you in marital trouble, I would inspect it further to try and discover what was in it. A few weeks ago I finally thought to myself, let's give it a go! After three attempts, I've got what I wanted! And, even better, now you get it too!
To begin, this dip is also based on a type of Turkish fresh farmer's cheese called, Beyaz Peynir. It looks just like a piece of feta, but I find it more compact when I break it apart by hand. The kind I use is made from cow milk, but a similar cheese made with goat or sheep's milk is fine. The texture of the cheese and the smoothness of its flavor are the most important. It crumbles, but can also hold its shape, leaving it creamier than a feta, I find. But if you cannot find this style a feta will do!
I use a food processor to chop up the main ingredients, but you can of course do this all by hand if you so choose.
Farmer's Cheese & Pistachio Dip with Honey
yields about 1 1/2 cups
50 g raw pistachios (about 4 T)
190-200 g fresh farmers white cheese (beyaz peynir style) -otherwise substitute feta
1/4 t pressed garlic (about 3 g)
50 ml good quality olive oil
30 ml honey -acacia style is best or the pistachio can get drowned out by the stronger ones
4 g chopped basil about 1 T
4 g chopped mint about 1 T
pepper (easy on the salt) This cheese can be very salty as it sits in a brine
In a food processor, pulse the raw pistachios until they are smaller pieces, about half the size of a pine nut. Then place them in a big bowl. Next, break the cheese in a few pieces and set inside the food processor. Pulse it until it's crumbly. Using a spatula to get it all out, add that to the bowl. Finally, add the pepper, (wait on the salt to taste once completed) the chopped herbs, garlic, honey and olive oil and mix with a spoon until well combined. If it needs some salt, add some after tasting.
*This dip goes splendidly with crackers in my opinion because of the crunch that happens against the creaminess of the dip.