As a kid in my small southwestern VA hometown, you couldn't avoid country music. I went through a spell where I loved the sound of it and many of its artists--Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, Big and Rich, Toby Keith, and yes, even Kenny Chesney. (Am I dating myself?)
These days, I'm much more out of touch with who's popular in country music, so one of the latest cookbooks from Southern Living was a revelation for me in more ways than one. Southern Living Country Music's Greatest Eatsincludes recipes contributed by some of today's biggest stars, folks like Miranda Lambert and Casey James and bands like Gloriana and Florida Georgia Line.
The recipes are all so tantalizing that it took me quite a while to narrow down the selection to just one to highlight for this post. While poppy seed chicken casserole and orange dreamsicle cake sound oh-so-tempting (and will inevitably be made eventually), I ultimately chose this one because it features two of my current favorite ingredients, avocados and feta cheese.
This is a very basic and straightforward recipe, especially as written. I tweaked it a little by adding some lime juice and by using cilantro instead of basil. It was actually a little better on day two, as the flavors apparently needed some time to evolve. While simple, this is a dish that'll make you eager to pop open a bag of chips or even just grab a spoon and dig in. The cookbook on the whole is wonderful, filled with interesting information about many country artists and lots of pretty pictures and delicious, versatile recipes.
Avocado and Feta Dip
Based on a recipe from Southern Living Country Music's Greatest Eats
- 1 pound tomatoes on the vine, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 (8-ounce) package feta cheese crumbles
- 3 medium avocados, cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Toss together the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.
Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice in a small bowl.
Pour over avocado mixture, tossing to coat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.