Saturday, March 9, 2013

Layered Mediterranean Dip

This dip was "lick the plate clean" good.  

It really was.  There was nothing left on the plate after my gathering last night.  I will be adding this into the regular rotation.  It's like the old school layered taco dip, sort of, in its assembly, but the flavors are totally different.  And awesome.

I had pinned this, and finally got to make it - it's a keeper.  I just changed a few things, mostly because of what I had on hand. I totally guessed on the amounts - I know I prepared 1 cup of the chopped veggies, but didn't use all of it, because I thought it might get too moist or too loaded to eat on a chip.  Do whatever you feel like!

Layered Mediterranean Dip

1 container of hummus (make it if you like, I used Trader Joe's Garlic flavored hummus)
1 recipe cilantro pesto (see below)
1/3 c. seedless cucumber, chopped
2 tbsp. red onion, diced
2 tbsp. chopped Kalamata olives (I don't like olives, so I put them on 1/2 and barely used any)
3 tbsp. banana peppers, chopped
1/3 c. grape tomatoes, chopped
1/3 c. Feta cheese crumbles
fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

Make your pesto - be sure to cover it tightly when you're done, or it will dark and a little creepy looking if exposed to air for a long time.  Start with the cilantro, garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor and process until a paste forms. Add the nuts and cheese then process until well-combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. While the processor is running, slowly stream in the remaining olive oil through the food chute and process until smooth.

Spread the hummus onto a plate, pie plate, or whatever you like.  Spread on the pesto, and then build your veggie layers. to and the rest of the ingredients in the order listed, topping with the crumbled feta and cilantro.  Serve with pita chips, bread or veggie slices.  I served with Trader Joe's whole wheat pita crackers  - they were sturdy-enough to really load on the dip - and some pita chips.

Cilantro Pesto: (just make it - it's easy)

1-1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic, halved (about 1 tbsp.)
1/3 cup olive oil, divided (I used about 4 tbsp.)
1/4 c. roasted, unsalted almonds (it's what I had)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

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