7 Layer Greek Dip

Ingredients:
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat) NOTE: use plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. dill weed or Greek seasoning (salt free–go for a mix that just has herbs)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 c. hummus
1 c. seeded, diced cucumbers
1 c. seeded, diced cherry tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 c. chopped green onions (about 3 green onions completely chopped)
1/2 c. crumbled Feta cheese
1/8-1/4 c. minced fresh parsley

With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small, shallow baking dish. Then spread a layer of hummus. In order, create layers by sprinkling the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, Feta cheese, and parsley.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with pita chips, fresh vegetables, and/or flatbread

Texas Caviar Dip

Ingredients:
2 (15 oz.) cans Bush’s black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz.) cans Bush’s pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can Bush’s cannellini beans
2 (15 oz.) cans white corn, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz.) can chopped green chilies, do not drain
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2-3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1-2 avocados (optional)

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix the black beans, pinto beans, white corn, green chilies, jalapeno, red and green peppers, red onion, celery, and cilantro together.

To make the dressing, stir the rice vinegar, olive oil, sugar, cumin, and garlic powder together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and cool. Pour dressing over bean mixture and toss to mix evenly.

It is better after it has been refrigerated for an hour or two.

Pimento Cheese

Ingredients:
8 oz extra sharp yellow cheddar
8 oz extra sharp white cheddar
7 oz jar pimentos
Salt to taste (I use very little)
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper (more or less depending on taste)
Approximately 2/3 cup Duke’s mayo (I’m a firm believer in Duke’s)

Directions:
Grate cheese relatively fine

Strain pimentos and then chop. No needed to strain juice created when you chop.

Add chopped pimentos, juice created, salt, pepper, and cayenne and give a light mix.

Add mayo and continue to mix until it reaches consistency you desire.

Tuscan Mashed Chickpeas

Ingredients:
2 15.5oz cans chickpeas
½ c chicken stock
3 T good olive oil
2 ripe medium-sized tomatoes, seeded and small-diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ c parmesan
3 T flat-leaf parsley
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Bread or crackers for serving

Directions:
Pour chickpeas into a colander and rinse them under cold water. Drain well. Place the chickpeas in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the chicken stock and pulse until the chickpeas are coarsely chopped but not pureed.
In a medium sauté pan, heat the 3 T of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until they are softened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the chickpeas, stirring to combine with the tomatoes and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring until heated through. Off the heat, stir in parmesan, parsley, lemon juice, 2 t salt, and 1 t pepper. Put in a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve warm or room temperature.

(from Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof)

Warm Spinach and Boursin Cheese Dip

Ingredients:
10 oz fresh spinach, stems removed
4 packages of Boursin cheese, or soft goat cheese, at room temperature (about 16 oz)
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of cayenne
1 T olive oil
¼ c parmesan cheese
chips for serving

Directions:
Wash the spinach and shake off excess water. Place in skillet and cook over medium heat just until the spinach wilts. Wrap the spinach in several thicknesses of paper towel and squeeze out the moisture. Chop the spinach.

Transfer the spinach to a bowl, add the Boursin and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne.

About 45 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9-in ceramic dish with the olive oil. Spread the cheese mixture into the dish and sprinkle the parmesan on top. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the mixture is hot and the top has started to brown.

Serve immediately with chips for dipping.

(courtesy of Park Avenue Potluck)

Mini Tomato Pizza

½ of 1 pkg puffed pastry
½ c ricotta
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T parmesan
6 T basil, chopped
¾ carton cherry tomatoes
olive oil for drizzling

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the puff pastry (freeze other half). Roll out crease and fold the edges under to make it round. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes.

Mix ricotta, garlic, parmesan and basil in a bowl. Slice tomatoes. When pastry comes out, spread cheese across the dough. Arrange tomatoes across dough and spread out evenly so they cover the top of the pizza. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until the pastry is golden and the tomatoes are slightly roasted. Remove from oven. Add more chopped basil and drizzle with olive oil.

Greek Salsa

3 T olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1 ½ t red wine vinegar
2 T chopped fresh oregano
¼ c chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
¼ t salt
1 ½ c diced ripe plum tomatoes (about 3)
3/4 c diced, peeled, and seeded cucumber (about 1/2 a cucumber)
¼ c minced red onion
1 ½ t minced fresh garlic
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 c (4 oz) crumbled feta cheese
1/3 pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped

Directions:
Combine all Ingredients in a bowl and mix gently. Serve immediately with pita chips.

(adapted from designer bags and dirty diapers)

Tomatillo Salsa

1 ½ lb tomatillos
½ c chopped white onion
½ c cilantro leaves
1 T fresh lime juice
¼ t sugar
2 jalapeño peppers or 2 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
salt to taste

Directions:
Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.

Cut in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.

Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, sugar in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator.

(courtesy of simplyrecipes.com)

Layered Greek Dip

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1 t dill weed or Greek seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 t lemon juice
1 ½ c hummus
1 c seeded, diced cucumbers
1 c seeded, diced tomatoes
½ c chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 c chopped green onions (about 3 green onions completely chopped)
½ c crumbled feta cheese
1/8 c minced fresh parsley

Directions:
With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small, shallow baking dish.

Then spread a layer of hummus.

In order, create layers by sprinkling the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, Feta cheese, and parsley.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with pita chips, fresh vegetables, flatbread

Note: You could also use Greek yogurt instead of cream cheese and switch the recipe so the hummus layer is on the bottom.

(courtesy of Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers)