Sunshine on your plate: Burnt Lemon and Feta Dip

Burnt lemon for burnt lemon and feta dip

First, burn your lemon

What do you see when you look at this photo? I see sunshine. Badly needed sunshine. Sunshine in the form of a Burnt Lemon and Feta Dip.

Ever since I visited Crackbird I’ve been slightly obsessed with this idea and have made several variations on the theme. Now I have it nailed.

When I say burnt lemon, I do mean a lemon that has been taken beyond the golden brown stage – just take a look at that photo. Burning the lemon makes the juice that bit sweeter and, somehow, just more lemony. (If you don’t want to go any further, keep in mind that this is very good squeezed over grilled fish.)

After that, it’s just a matter of whipping the juice up with crumbled feta, olive oil, a little garlic and some natural yoghurt. The creamy, piquant end result is best eaten with something spicy – I’ve been using it dolloped on my variation of fried – ie baked in the oven – chicken, à la Crackbird, but it’s also good with Homemade Lamb Burgers, roast vegetables of every description or just with some freshly cut carrot sticks and crispy strips of pita bread.

I have to say, this might even be a good thing to serve on the side of some chicken hot off the barbecue. I just haven’t had a chance to test that theory out yet this summer.

If you haven’t got sunshine in the sky, you need to bring it to your plate somehow.

Burnt Lemon and Feta Dip
Lemon – ½
Feta cheese – 1 x 200g block, drained and roughly crumbled
Garlic – 1 clove, peeled and chopped
Olive oil – 4 tablespoons
Natural yoghurt – 4 tablespoons
Black pepper – ¼ teaspoon

Put a heavy dry frying pan – I use a little cast iron one – over a medium heat. Place the lemon half, cut side down, on the heated pan and allow to fry, undisturbed, until slightly burnt.

Juice the lemon half into the bowl of a food processor. Add the feta, garlic, olive oil, natural yoghurt and black pepper. Whizz together until creamy.

Serves 4.


Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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2 Responses

  1. Ooh this sounds so very good. I will try some with my home made ‘feta’ style cheese. Perhaps it will evoke feelings of summer sunshine & warmth even though the weather is awful.

  2. Caroline says:

    That’s exactly what I think – the lemon roasting on the pan gives the scent of summer to your kitchen. Well worth a try – let me know how you get on with your feta. Check the dip for salt – your cheese might not be as salty as the block that I pick up in the supermarket.

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