Last weekend, Ben's parents came for a visit and I wanted to make a couple of healthier recipes for their enjoyment. Although I didn't get a chance to make everything I planned, I did ensure that this hummus based dip hit the table, alongside a falafel dish. I was waiting for their visit before trying this recipe for the first time, and after trying it once, I've already made it twice! It is that good.
There are many things I love about this dip, from its fresh veggie loaded ingredients, to its gorgeous presentation. But, I think my favorite attribute is how adaptable the recipe is to accommodate your taste or to simply use up what you have on hand. The first time I put this together for Ben's parents, I followed a combination of both Annie's and Natalie's recipes. A few days later, I made it again for an event at the seminary, but adapted it so I didn't have to run to the store and buy a bunch of ingredients again. For example, I had some basil pesto to use up, along with sun dried tomatoes. The basil pesto gave it more of an Italian flair, but that's not a bad thing in my opinion! 🙂
If you're too intimidated to make your own hummus and cilantro pesto, or you just don't have time to do it homemade, there is nothing wrong with using store-bought of both. You can serve this dip with some sliced vegetables, pita bread or pita chips. I personally even love eating it with a spoon. But, that's just me.
Layered Mediterranean Dip
For the pesto:
- 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 cloves garlic , halved
- 1/3 cup olive oil , divided
- 2 Tablespoons pecans
- 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
For the rest of the dip:
- Hummus , any flavor (use my favorite, or yours)
- Seedless cucumber , chopped
- Red onion , diced
- Sliced Kalamata or black olives
- Banana peppers or pepperoncini peppers , chopped
- Grape tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes , chopped
- Crumbled feta cheese
For the pesto:
- Combine the cilantro, garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor and process until a rough paste forms. Add the pecans, pine nuts and cheese then process until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. While the processor is running, slowly pour the remaining olive oil through the food chute and process until smooth.