This Mediterranean Vegan Dip will literally give other dips envy. Even the hummus will struggle with competing for attention when this vegan dip is around. Football season is right around the corner and that means there will be an endless craving for something to dip homemade tortilla chips into around here, My normal go-to dip is Mexican Layer Dip, but I've been wanting something differently lately. Plus, anytime I can convince Dave to try something new, I jump on it! This dip is vegan, gluten free, and pretty simple to make if you have a food processor.
There are actually two layers of flavor in this vegan dip and you could totally use store bought hummus for the bottom layer if you are pressed for time! I always have a few cans of organic chickpeas on hand, and homemade hummus only takes about 2 minutes to make! This hummus is smokey with the addition of smoked paprika which pairs so perfectly with the baba ganoush. Dave can never seem to be able to pronounce baba ganoush or remember what it's called so it's quite hilarious when he tries to ask me to make this dish for him. Hence the Mediterranean Vegan Dip title :)
Have you ever tried baba ganoush before? Well I became absolutely obsessed with it about 7 years ago. When I first started working in public accounting, the hours were pretty intense, sometimes we would work 15+ hour days. That of course meant I was eating almost all my meals at the office. Luckily we had a Pita Pit downstairs that stayed open pretty late. I would order baba ganoush pita at least 2 times a week and it was the highlight of my day. Even after that many pitas, I never got tired of the flavor!
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So baba ganoush, if you haven't heard of it before, is a dish made from roasted eggplants. tahini, garlic, lemon and cumin. It is such an easy dish to prepare once the eggplant has been roasted. It's perfect for a dip because it's very filling and the flavors are very intense, not boring! I knew that if I could just convince Dave to try this, he would fall in love.
But he was pretty skeptical, after all he's usually not the first to volunteer to eat anything made from eggplant. Or anything that he can't pronounce. But I left him with a bag of his favorite tortilla chips on a day when he was extra hungry and he said it was too pretty not to try. When I came back upstairs to see what he thought, half the dip was gone and he was too full to eat anymore.
That's when I knew it was a success. You see until Dave and I started dating, he was content eating his bland boring chicken and rice dinner. I however, don't believe that healthy food should be boring or bland, so I've been working in new flavors and dishes over the past few months.
Sometimes I tell him what the ingredients are and sometimes I just ask him to try it and if he doesn't like it I'll never make him eat it again. Sounds like I'm bargaining with a 6 year old right? :) Luckily he's very open minded and will try just about anything, except pesto. He does not like pesto!
You can serve this dip at parties, don't even bother telling people what it is. They will be coming to you for the recipe by the end of that night, I promise. If you are normally one to serve 7 layer taco dip, try this out once, it's full of flavor and a bit unexpected! It's also a nice recipe to have in your back pocket when you are looking to change things up or are needing to serve a very versatile group of people. Because this is vegan, it's dairy free and meat free, which means it's also perfect for tailgating since there is no dairy to worry about spoiling.
Don't limit this dip to game day though. This is perfect for weeknight dinners as well. Just serve this with pita bread, some grilled veggies and maybe some grilled chicken or grilled shrimp for a fun new twist on dinner! Or eat it straight out of the dish with tortilla chips like I did :)
Mediterranean Vegan Dip
- Peel the eggplant and cut it into large circles about 1 inch across. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 425 or until soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool, about 2 hours in the fridge. I usually make the eggplant the day before.
- In a food processor add the cooled eggplant. Add the tahini, the juice of 2 lemons, 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, 2 cloves of garlic, grated with microplane or chopped, cumin and salt.
- Pulse until the mixture is smooth. Remove from food processor and store an airtight container for 1-2 days.
- Drain and rinse a can of organic chickpeas. To help with bloating and discomfort, after draining the chickpeas, allow them to soak in fresh water for 3-5 minutes before rinsing, removing any of the canning liquid.
- Add the drained chickpeas to the food processor. Add the juice of 2 lemons, olive oil, salt, smoked paprika, water and garlic powder. Turn on the food processor until the mixture is smooth.
- Add tthe hummus to he bottom of your serving bowl. Add the baba ganoush next. Layer on chopped romaine lettuce, chopped tomato, chopped red onion and chopped fresh parsley.
- Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips, fresh red pepper strips, carrots or cucumbers.
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What about you?
Do you have a picky eater?
What is your favorite dip to serve at Sunday afternoon football parties?
Have you tried Baba Ganoush before?