A while back my friend had a happy hour at her house, and she served a Mediterranean-inspired dip. She’s a funny person, my friend. She claims to hate cooking, but she always serves the best and prettiest food, and even offers signature cocktails.
She’s also an expert at entertaining – to the point that once she had pressed fresh flowers between glass plates for a spring girls’ lunch at her home. I think she’s in Martha-Stewart-wanna-be denial…
Most of us are familiar with the 7-layer dip; sometimes the number varies. It’s Mexican, or Mexican-American, and typically contains layers of refried beans, guacamole, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, maybe seasoned ground beef, and so forth. If you love all of those ingredients, then you would love the dip, served with tortilla chips and margaritas.
My creative friend, however, was inspired by a recipe she’d seen in a magazine, and created a multi-layered dip using Mediterranean ingredients. It was fabulous.
We can’t find the recipe, so I’m creating this version with my own favorite ingredients from that part of the world. Whatever you use, you just can’t go wrong.
Mediterranean Layered Dip
White bean dip, or hummus, preferably home-made
Goat or feta cheese
Kalamata olives, sliced
Toasted pine nuts
Begin with having a plate or shallow bowl for serving. Place the white bean dip or hummus on the serving dish. I have had decent store-bought hummus, but I simply made a garlicky white bean dip. Smooth out the white bean dip.
Prepare the cucumber by removing the seeds. This can be done with a knife, or simply with a melon baller or small spoon. Cut up the cucumber and place on paper towels to drain.
Prepare the tomatoes by de-seeding them as much as possible, then cutting them finely, and placing them on paper towels to drain. Have all of the other ingredients on hand.
Begin the layering process by adding the cucumber and then the tomatoes.
Add the crumbled goat cheese and drizzle with a little olive oil if desired.
Then add the olives, pine nuts and shallots.
Serve with pita triangles cut from pita breads. Alternatively, half the triangles, drizzle with olive oil, and toast until lightly browned for a crisper pita “chip.” (The photo below right shows the pita triangles halved, but not yet toasted.)
It was a hot day when I made this dip, so I served a rosé.
The fun wth this recipe, is that you can substitute ingredients as you wish. Capers instead of olives, roasted red peppers instead of tomatoes, grilled artichokes, and more.
You can top the dip with black pepper, oregano, sumac, za’atar, or a chiffonade of fresh basil.
Just stick with Mediterranean ingredients and you’ll love it!