Meatless Monday Greek Inspired Layered Salad and Layer Dip
This past weekend was a favorite Greek Festival. The many foods of the Greeks are treasured favorites. In discussing our weekend plans, a friend suggested this dip as the party starter or this Greek Inspired Seven Layer Salad as...
This past weekend was a favorite Greek Festival. The many foods of the Greeks are treasured favorites. In discussing our weekend plans, a friend suggested this dip as the party starter or this Greek Inspired Seven Layer Salad as a side. Both were so simple and so good. The best thing, this was meatless and very flavorful. I served this with carrots, celery and flat bread crackers. You need a hefty vehicle for this layer dip. Toasted Pita bread or a flat bread were also suggested.
Hummus as the Secret Ingredient:
This Layer Dip starts with Hummus. Of course I started with my homemade version with lots of lemon, garlic and a hint of cayenne. I kept this hummus very thick as the base for this dip. The recipe is below.
Greek Layered Dip
Order of Layers:
Fresh Red pepper ( if using jarred roasted, dry off these peppers well ), medium dice
Cucumber ( suggested English cucumber and removing the seeds), medium dice
Black olives or Kalamata olives, sliced
Feta cheese, cubed
Dill as garnish, either fresh or dried
3 cans (15 ounces each) Garbanzo Beans or Chick Peas, rinsed and drained
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Juice of two lemons
½ - ¾ cup tahini, sesame paste
½ - 1 teaspoon ground cumin – to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, you can add more later, but it is tough to take out too much heat!
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ - 1 cup water ( I prefer to use Vegetable stock )
2 tablespoons olive oil, along with some for finishing and presentation
Fresh and finely chopped parsley for garnish
¼ teaspoon or less cayenne pepper if desired
- Rinse and drain the chick peas.
- In a food processor or blender, combine the chick peas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne and olive oil.
- Process until combined, adding in water or stock as needed. Starting with ½ cup.
- Work to get this hummus to the consistency you wish. Thinner for a sandwich spread, thicker as a dip.
- Store any leftover hummus in the fridge and enjoy within 2 – 3 days.
Greek Style 7 Layer Salad
Hummus as the base
Tzatziki sauce – a recipe follows
Whole Chick Peas or Garbazo Beans ( you could use these out of the can or roast these for an added flavor and crunch to this salad ) A roasting recipe follows.
Greek Tzatziki Sauce
This creamy white sauce is a staple in Greek fare. Some have named it a Greek Salsa. This is an easy appetizer served with fresh Pita Chips. Or, as a side to the lemon potatoes. Best when chilled at least 2 – 3 hours. Will get thinner the longer it rests.
16 ounces Greek yogurt
2 English cucumbers, peeled and de-seeded and then grated
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon juiced
3 – 5 cloves garlic, grated fine
1 tablespoon fresh dill
Salt and Pepper to taste
*** Optional -- 4 – 8 ounces Feta cheese, crumbled, or served on the side.
- Use a cheese cloth to strain the yogurt over a bowl for 3 to 4 hours, until most of the water has drained.
- Press excess liquid out of the shredded cucumber. (I often lightly salt the grated cucumber and put in a colander to drain, then squeeze out the excess water.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the cucumber and strained yogurt. Mix in the garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Chill the mixture for 1 to 2 hours
- Some prefer to serve this with a chunk of feta cheese on the side over in this sauce.
Roasted Chick Peas
1 can chick peas, garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and dried.
Seasonings suggested: salt or garlic salt, pepper, cayenne pepper. Season to taste. Suggested amounts for seasoning:
¼ ½ teasopon garlic salt and black pepper to one can of beans,
¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
- Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, if using. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Watch carefully the last few minutes to avoid burning.
- Enjoy. These are best made and enjoyed. Left over, they can break a tooth!