Awhile back, I read a Buzzfeed article called 24 Things You Know If You’re Always Hosting Dinner Parties. (Be warned, if you read it, there’s quite a bit of unnecessarily foul language in the article.) Some of the items on the list were so true that I wondered if the Buzzfeed author had been spying on my house recently as I prepared to host events. As is probably obvious from the fact that this blog has an Entertaining section, we throw a lot of parties at our house–not just dinner parties, any parties! White Elephant Christmas parties, Nacho Libre parties, Butterfly Tea Parties, Beatles Singalong Parties! With dreams for the future to host a Murder Mystery Dinner, Talent Show, and Grown-Up Prom, just to name a few. Anyway, as a frequent party hostess, I can tell you, like the Buzzfeed article, that certain truths are universal to hosting large number of people in your home. Like the fact that you always buy a ton of alcohol, thinking there’s no way people will drink it all, and they always do, or that you shouldn’t bother to vacuum your carpet before a party, only after.
BUT…the one truth that prevails above all else when you host any event that serves food–yes, the one tried and true guarantee is this:
Someone will ALWAYS bring hummus and pita chips.
When did this happen? I feel like the general American public was only introduced to hummus, like, ten years ago. How did this rookie food item rocket up the ranks of party appetizers to become El Capitan of potluck takealongs? My theory is this: it’s classier than a bag of chips but just as easy and only slightly more expensive. But psssst…I have a secret up my sleeve. If you really want to impress with your contribution to a party spread (and you just gotta have that hummus), there’s a better way than the Trader Joe’s grab-and-go standard. This richly flavored 7-layer Mediterranean dip starts with a hummus base, but builds on it with cucumber, tomatoes, red pepper, feta, artichokes, and Greek yogurt for a truly unique party dip. Layering with fresh ingredients adds vitamins, flavor, fiber, and crunch, along with bright colors that make for a visually interesting and much more substantial side than hummus alone. I served it at a recent house concert we hosted and it went over beautifully.
So give it a whirl when your next “heyyyyy, we said we’d bring something to that party this weekend” moment hits. Your friends will thank you.
(The other option, of course, besides taking it as an impressive dish to a party, is to use it as a head-’em-off-at-the-pass menu item when hosting potlucks.
“Hey, we’re coming on Saturday! How about I bring pita chips and hummus?”
“Actually, I’ve already got that covered. How about something else?”)
P.S. No hard feelings if you’re reading this and you’ve ever brought hummus to one of our parties…I still love you. 😉
Mediterranean 7-Layer Dip
(Adapted from Cookin’ Canuck)
8-10 oz. container regular hummus
1/2 c. cucumber, diced
1/2 c. tomato, diced
1/2 c. roasted red pepper, diced
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. salt
2-3 canned artichoke hearts, chopped
1/3 c. crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, minced
- In the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch pan, spread hummus in a smooth layer. Sprinkle with cucumber and tomato.
- Drop yogurt by tablespoonfuls over the vegetables. Smooth with a spatula or the back of a spoon and sprinkle with paprika and salt.
- Top with artichoke hearts, feta, and parsley. Refrigerate or serve immediately. Goes great with pita chips, crackers, or raw vegetables!