Mediterranean Layer Dip with Pita

January 20, 2018

Mediterranean layered dip

Oh, how I love a layered dip with chips! During football season, I always make a big layered bean dip with corn chips on the side (always a winner!), but this Mediterranean-style dip is a brilliant alternative to the classic standby. It's a meze platter all in one with beautiful layers showcasing each tasty ingredient. Get a glass bowl, preferably a trifle bowl, and layer hummus, cucumbers, crumbled feta cheese, roasted red peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, mint, drizzle with vinaigrette, and serve with pita chips.

This recipe is just one of over 100 delicious and easy recipes from What Can I Bring?, a new cookbook from Elizabeth Heiskell, author of the popular monthly column bearing the same name in Southern Living magazine. Recipes include delicious and comforting Southern dishes for every meal of the day and every occasion with chapters covering events like Potluck and Road Trip Roadies to Under the Weather and Four Quarters & Food. Read more about her cookbook and also get the recipe for her scrumptious Hangover Sliders here!

Mediterranean Layer Dip with Pita
Serves 14 
Hands-On: 10 minutes Total: 10 minutes

"This can be done the day before. Just before serving, drizzle with vinaigrette. This is a great option for those who are done to death with Mexican layered dip. Such a healthy, fresh alternative. " ~Elizabeth Heiskell

2 (16-ounce) containers hummus
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 2 cups)
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1⁄2 cup)
1⁄2 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1⁄2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1⁄2 cup chopped drained canned artichoke hearts
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh mint
1⁄4 cup Versatile Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Pita chips

Spoon the hummus into a large trifle dish. Top with the cucumber, feta, red peppers, olives, artichoke hearts, and mint. Drizzle with the Vinaigrette. Serve with the pita chips.

Versatile Vinaigrette
Makes 3 cups 
Hands-on: 5 minutes Total: 5 minutes

"At every restaurant in the Mississippi Delta, you hear one thing as you walk to your table  past all the other diners: “I’ll have the Ranch,” “Do you have Ranch?” or “You know, how  about a little Ranch on the side?” Now don’t get me wrong, I love Ranch just as much as the next guy. When all you could get at the Piggly Wiggly was a head of iceberg lettuce, Ranch was a necessity. There is a time and place for Ranch but it’s not every single day on every type of salad. We can get beautiful lettuce now so a vinaigrette is a must. There are a couple things in life that everyone should know how to do: change a tire, come in out of the rain, and make a vinaigrette. This one can be used as many ways as good ole Ranch can! Of course, it’s the perfect dressing for a heap of greens, but it can also add a flavorful boost to roasted veggies. Brush it on toasted bread to make a tasty sandwich. Don’t stop there: It makes a great marinade for chicken or pork, the perfect dip for blanched asparagus or green beans, and a lovely sauce for poached seafood or fish." ~Elizabeth Heiskell

3⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard*
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
3⁄4 cup olive oil or canola oil

Whisk together the vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.  Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until smooth.  
Note: You can use a food processor to combine the oil and the acid, but it’s easy to overprocess the liquids and they can become thicker than gravy. If the dressing gets too thick, add water to thin the dressing; do NOT add more oil, because that will only make the problem worse.

*Most vinaigrette recipes call for some kind of mustard. It acts like a marriage counselor: It keeps two things together that don’t want to stay together.

Excerpted from What Can I Bring? by Elizabeth Heiskell. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

What Can I Bring? cookbook cover