Thursday, October 12, 2017

Seven Layer Greek Dip

Seven Layer Dip- when you hear this name, probably the first recipe you think of is the delicious gooey goodness of refried beans, guacamole, salsa and sour cream topped with all the fixin's. But everyone brings the Mexican version to parties... how about changing it up Mediterranean style next time? Here I layer creamy hummus, bright and zippy Greek yogurt sauce similar to Tzatziki, garden tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and Kalamata olives for a fresh and unexpected spin on a traditional party favorite. This recipe has become a go-to of mine to bring to parties and get-together's with friends.  It is ALWAYS a huge hit and the recipe is always requested.  In fact I bought this appetizer to a recent neighborhood Recipe and Wine Night party and won 1st Place for best Appetizer! Its great served with fresh pita bread, a veggie tray, crackers or pita chips. And if you happen to have leftovers, roll them inside a pita with some crunchy lettuce for a delicious wrap.

While you could totally buy a tub of hummus and pre-made Tzatziki at the store, I love making my own for this app. Hummus is one of those recipes that is SO EASY that after making it the first time you will wonder why you ever bought it pre-made at the store. The ingredients are inexpensive, you can easily change the flavors by what you happen to have in your fridge and all you do is literally dump all the ingredients into a food processor or blender, push a button and DONE.  Simple as that! I am going to share with you my favorite Hummus recipe if you wish to give it a whirl! But either way, store bought or homemade, this Seven Layer Greek Dip is sure to be a huge hit with all your up and coming holiday parties!

Seven Layer Greek Dip

1/2 English cucumber, quartered and chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup sliced Kalamata or black olives
3 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
a few sprigs fresh dill, stems removed

For the Hummus
2 (15 ounce) cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), juices from one can reserved
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice (roughly the juice of two and half lemons)
3-4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp crushed red chili flakes
pinch cumin

Combine in food processor or blender the garbanzo beans, tahini, 1/4 cup lemon juice, garlic, salt, red chili flakes and cumin.  Bend until smooth.  Taste and add more lemon juice to suit your taster.  We prefer  it more on the lemony side.  It will be quite thick at this point.  Slowly add in some of the reserved garbanzo bean juice to thin it out.  Blend again.  Add more of the juice, blend and taste. Repeat until you reach the right consistency.  You won't need all the juice just enough to get it creamy!!  The texture should be smooth and creamy and not too thick.

For the Greek Yogurt Sauce
1 1/3 cups thick plain Greek yogurt, like Fage
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced (I love a lot of garlic flavor, so I use 2 cloves)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh parley, minced

Combine all Greek Yogurt Sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. If you prefer a more mild flavor, you can make this up to a day in advance stored in the fridge.  The longer it sits in the fridge, the less "bite" the garlic will have.

Putting it all Together

On a large platter or 8x8 pan, evenly spread the hummus. Next, careful not to smear together with the hummus, evenly spread the Greek Yogurt Sauce on top of the Hummus creating your second layer. Top with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, and red onion.  Sprinkle minced fresh dill over the top (kitchen scissors work great for snipping dill evenly over the layered dip!)

Serve immediately with pita bread cut into wedges, fresh veggies, crackers or pita chips.


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