A Southern Grace: get country.

June 24, 2014

get country.


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
Serves 10-12
  • 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.


Joanne said...

Summer is definitely dip season, especially when the dip is mostly veggies with a hint of cheese! Yum.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Delicious and fresh!



scrambledhenfruit said...

Avocado, feta and tomatoes are in my kitchen right now, just waiting for me to whip this up. I have basil so I'll probably use that. I'm not up on current country music either, but I love a good cookbook!(Give me some of that good old bluegrass you must have heard growing up- Floyd is an awesome place!) :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

You've just reminded me that I have feta in the fridge that I want to eat!

Angie's Recipes said...

Avocado, feta and tomato...what's not to love? It surely looks very delicious and moreish!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I really enjoy this combination as well! So fresh tasting this time of year.

I Wilkerson said...

What a nice fresh summer salad. Perhaps I should make some feta cheese next week! BTW, I just made a Lemon Lavender cupcake based on your confetti ("fun-fetti") cupcakes, which I am bringing to Louise's picnic. It is at: http://artofnaturalliving.com/2014/06/26/party-picnic-lemon-lavender-cupcakes/ if you want to take a look! Thanks for your "help" with my picnic contribution.

Marjie said...

Yeehaw indeed! Looks good, but I'm drooling over the idea of orange dreamsicle cake. Make that soon, please!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

What a great idea for a cookbook! :D I once got a heavy metal cookbook and found it endlessly entertaining!

Caroline Taylor said...

Love the sound of this, really summery.

lisa is cooking said...

I was just thinking about how much feta I use in the summer. This dip is perfect for a warm weather party!

vanillasugarblog said...

I bet this is insanely good stuffed in a warm pita pocket!
Man I love feta and tomatoes in the summer!

Gloria Baker said...

Look delicious Grace@

Barbara said...

That cookbook sounds like a gem, Grace. I just put it on my wish list. (which I always trust my kids will check before birthdays etc.)
You've chosen a great salad to post..all fresh garden ingredients, perfect for summer.

Emily said...

yum... I love the sound of this dip! Avocado is my favorite thing in the world.

Jeff @ Cheese-burger.net said...

I have a few bags of chips and am in need of a delicious dip. This fits the bill. What's more is it gets more delicious over time.

Carolyn Jung said...

I could pretty much eat a bowl of that all by myself. You can never go wrong with tomatoes together with avocado and a nice piquant cheese.