Five-Minute Roasted Red Pepper and Feta Spread

Coming off a four-week, super-intense editing of my next book, “The Welcome Home Diner”, a contemporary novel about two women opening a diner on Detroit’s east side. I get why writers isolate themselves during the process. I was assigned  a well-seasoned editor determined to squeeze the best book that she could out of me. The verdict will be in the hands of the readers. (If you’re interested in a free advance digital copy when available, please advise!)

So now it’s over and I feel as if I’ve been hit by a stun gun. Been invited for cocktails–everyone’s to bring an appie–and don’t  have the energy to get in the car to even buy a hunk of cheese. I do, however, have the energy to be with friends; I’ve been in the isolation tank too long. And have a drink. Not necessarily in that order.

Rummaging through the back crevices of the fridge and thar’ she blows! One-half of a jar of roasted red peppers saddled up to some feta are speaking to me.

Five minutes later I actually have something pretty tasty. I know there are plethoras of ready made dips to be found at local markets, but nothing–honestly guys–ever tastes as good as homemade. Even if homemade was made using short-cuts.

Quick little Mediterranean nosh.

If you’re lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s in your town, there are a few short-cut products I’ve found indispensable for making  last minute appetizers.

♥ Their olive tapenade (the one found in the refrigerated section). ♥ Bottled roasted red peppers (a shelved product pictured above) for a variety of uses. They’re as close to roasting at home as I’ve tasted. ♥ Their spinach-feta phyllo triangles (found in the frozen section of the store) ♥ Assorted cheeses (you can’t beat those prices).

To make the platter above, I purchased the tapenade, goat cheese and roasted red peppers. Then, I roasted a head of garlic by: cutting off garlic head, drizzling exposed cloves with EVO, and then roasting in a double thickness of foil until cloves are softened, about 40 minutes. Sliced avocado and a crunchy baguette yields a tidy little Mediterranean nosh in no-time.

Even quicker: Purchase a log of goat cheese along with the aforementioned tapenade, spread the tapenade over the goat cheese and serve with a baguette. A sprig of fresh rosemary placed atop the cheese is the perfect grace note.

The Promise Kitchen

By the way, “The Promise Kitchen” is on promotion–only $2.00! The reduced price has meant the book sales have been darting about in the top 100 Kindle books in women’s fiction this month; last week the book topped 900 in overall library sales. (Not sure of the amount of women’s fiction but there’s well over a million books in the Kindle library.) This two-buck-book-chuck may be cheating, but I’ll take it.

Recipe: 5-minute Roasted Red Pepper Feta Cheese Spread


  • 3 ounces (drained) Fire-Roasted Red Peppers*
  • 3 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • Pinch or more cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped dill (optional)
  • Pita bread, fresh vegetables for dipping


  1. Place red pepper(s), feta, garlic, a pinch of cayenne, olive oil and dill (if using) in processor. Blend until combined.
  2. Refrigerate for several hours until firm. Serve with pita bread, pita chips or fresh vegetables for dipping.

* I used the Trader Joe’s brand of bottled fire roasted red peppers. If you don’t have time to roast your own, these are the best I’ve found. They also are delish in this recipe for Pimento Cheese. I even add a teaspoon of the delectiable juice.

Total time: 5 minutes

Number of servings (yield): Enough to fill a small (2 cup) bowl. The perfect size for bringing to a potluck.

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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