Tyrokafteri (Hot Pepper and Cheese Dip) | Sauced


When in need of some quick inspiration, I start turning to menus of where ever I'm eating at or happen to be walking by. Living in the heavily Greek neighborhood of Astoria, Queens, this often leads me to one of the many delicious Mediterranean sauces that always seem to be made to match perfectly with warm, fresh pita. This is exactly how I landed on this week's sauce, tyrokafteri—a hot pepper and feta-based dip.

I started the sauce by roasting hot cherry peppers, which have a really nice heat that's hot, but not overwhelming. Once they cooled, I peeled, stemmed, and seeded them, then gave them a whirl in the food processor along with feta, Greek yogurt, olive oil, and lemon juice until I had a smooth, pale red sauce.

Although quickly conceived and put together, this sauce was not lacking in any way. It delivered waves of flavor that started with salty feta with a tang from the yogurt. Then came a slight hint of lemon right before the heat of the peppers stole the show. I was so pleased with this that I just warmed up a stack of pita to go with the tyrokafteri and called it dinner.