Maui Girl Cooks

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Luciano Pavarotti


Mediterranean Goat Cheese Dip

”You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients”– Julia Child

When asked to bring something to a party or potluck, I always offer up dessert, usually something with chocolate, but not always.  Occasionally though, I am asked to bring something else. Once, a long time ago,  I was asked to bring something totally boring, but necessary. . .plates. . .gasp. Luckily that hasn’t happened again, because I like to share something delicious, and I think there are enough people who don’t want to buy or prepare food that they can bring the boring but necessary stuff.  I have never had a “go to” appetizer, so if asked to bring one, I would rifle through cookbooks and other sources of great recipes for something to make; preferably something that would be a real hit and something unique.  I am here today to tell you that I now have a “go to” appetizer!  It is quick & simple to make & quite addictive to eat.  Carrol, one of the nurses I work with, brought this dip to work one day.  I was among many who could not stop eating it; thankfully, it was one of the occasional days that we weren’t super busy.  It’s a flexible recipe, more of a plan really, so you can take it in different directions, depending on your tastes and the ingredients you have in your pantry.  We almost always have the ingredients I’ve outlined here, so this dip can be ready quickly for any occasion.  I’m taking this dip to a Christmas Eve gathering this evening with some Hawaiian Chip Company’s Sweet Potato and Taro Chips.  These chips are fabulous, not greasy or too salty, but pretty much perfect.  When you are in Maui, you can find them for the best price at Costco.  I made the dip in Washington State when I was there in October, and served it with Trader Joe’s Fig and Kalamata Olive crackers, also very good.  Some day soon I plan on making homemade crackers, which I look forward to eating with this dip.  

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Mediterranean Goat Cheese Dip

Soft goat cheese 5 oz. {approximately}

Garlic 2 cloves, finely minced

Red pepper flakes, as many as you like

Chopped kalamata olives {I used 14}

Julienned sun dried tomatoes {I used 14}

Fresh herbs, chopped {I used basil & cilantro}, reserve some to sprinkle on top {I used about 3 tbsp}

Freshly ground pepper

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling over top

Place goat cheese at the bottom of your bowl.  Lightly mash it down with a fork to make an even layer.  Top with minced garlic, red pepper flakes, chopped herbs, olives, tomatoes, several grinds of pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  Sprinkle with reserved herbs.  Let dip sit out for about an hour at room temp for best flavor.


  • Quantities are for a round bowl 5 1/2” in diameter.
  • Cream cheese may be used if you prefer it to goat cheese.
  • You can use sun dried tomatoes that are not packed in oil.  If you use oil packed, soak for 5” in hot water, then blot on a paper towel.

 Bon appetit!