Prep: 10 min
a.k.a 'Healthy Ketchup': A delicious red pepper dip to accompany fries, jacked potatoes, souvlaki or meatballs and a great way to start using your lockdown stockpiled tins.
What is it?
Looks quite posh in my photo but actually, it's nothing but a relatively cheap, yet delicious, street food companion in Greece, especially in the north where its origin is said to be. Its distinct red colour comes from the tomato concentrate, red pepper and paprika while it gets its freshness and tanginess from the addition of feta cheese. It's also the best and healthiest kids "ketchup" out there.
Truth to be told, there are not many recipes out there to resemble the classic taste we know from childhood, and most people in Greece don't bother making at home as you can buy ready-made for a few euros everywhere. Just like tzatziki. I found a few recipes online (very few in English, most in Greek) but they all looked a bit poor, without peppers and with just a handful of ingredients, not resembling the taste I know.
So what did I do?
I found my favourite ready-made paprika dip, took a photo of the ingredient label, calculated the quantities, some experiments, and voila! I've also added a little spicy kick using a dash of our favourite Mexican sauce, Cholula, but this is optional of course.
Also, as always with authentic recipes, make sure you use good quality feta cheese and extra virgin olive oil. I like the 'Epiros' feta brand that you can find in the UK in selected supermarkets (e.g. Ocado) or some local middle eastern/Greek groceries. Check out this post to see how this feta brand looks like.
Make ahead and store in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container. This recipe produces over 500g of dip so it can accommodate a good party of 8-10 people.
420-450g Double Concentrate Tomato Paste (I suggest the Greek brand 'Kyknos')
1 roasted red pepper - around 80-100g (we call it 'Florina Pepper' in Greece)
80g Plain Mustard
100g Feta Cheese
50ml Olive oil
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp sweetener (honey or sugar or agave syrup)
1 tbsp Spicy Tabasco sauce (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Add all the ingredients into the food processor and blitz until smooth. Add some pepper and mix again (no extra salt needed, feta is salty enough).
Serve chilled and use it as a dip for your chips, pittas or breadsticks or with red meat assortment.
Below are my favourite authentic products I used to cook and shoot this recipe. If you can't see the icons and links, please deactivate your ad-blocker and refresh the page :-)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Cretan is undoubtedly one of the most virgin Olive Oils in the world. Be it the Cretan climate, the skills of Cretans delivering exceptional extra virgin oil over the centuries, be it both, this is one olive oil you should be buying when ordering online. During my visits to Greece, I used to bring a 3L pack of Cretan oil over to the UK but I stopped as soon as I realised how good Amazon's price is (not to mention the space I saved in my luggage)! I use this oil for all my recipes, savoury or desserts.
Tomato sauce: The Greek double concentrate brand Kyknos is what you are looking to buy as it is the dominating ingredient to get the original flavours. I also like to mix it with this super tasty Cholula Mexican sauce to give it a spicy kick (or use tabasco instead).