This recipe takes the classic 7 Layer Dip and goes Mediterranean, with hummus, avocado, labneh and more. Dip your pita chip in 7 layers of Mediterranean flavors and you’ll be in 7th heaven.
I’m a big fan of the idea that hummus ought to be a foundation, holding up the greatness of other toppings like marinated lamb or sautéed vegetables. In the Mediterranean, this treatment of hummus is Gospel. If you serve hummus as a dip rather than as a condiment or a base layer, you’re not doing things right.
The thought of transforming the classic 7 Layer Dip, of the sort that Midwestern Potluck and The Big Game-watching buffets are made of, has been with me for a few years.
It’s not that the traditional dip of refried beans and sour cream goodness needs my help—Lord knows I love a good scoop atop a Tostito as much as the next guy.
The idea to change things up is born out of loving the mishmash of our Mediterranean flavors so very very much, and realizing that the bites of all that is good on my Lebanese plate involves perhaps exactly 7 layers of flavor makers–making them perfect for this dip:
Your hummus base layer
Lush avocado mixed with tahini
Olives (got to have that briny salty shot of YES)
Realize that the layers have some flexibility, certainly. If it’s me making, I won’t fiddle much. But I know there are plenty of olive-haters in the world. So replace them with something similarly salty, like crumbled feta. You’ll wonder how to go vegan: bye bye labneh, hello more chopped vegetables (bell peppers, cucumbers, shredded carrots). Or try a creamy substitute made with nuts and lemon (there are lots of decent recipes out there). As for the labneh, commercial Greek Yogurt makes a fine sub; stir in a squeeze of lemon to impart the more complex flavor of labneh.
I consider the olive oil and spices as “layers” because they are so essential to making an excellent dip. Not only do they look gorgeous drizzled and dusted as they are on most all of our dips, they give the flavor that extra something-something, a richness and an extra zhuzsh.
Let’s change it up, sports fans! And same to you, snack fans!
Mediterranean 7 Layer Dip
The layers in this dip are akin to classic 7 Layer Dip, changing the ingredients up with hummus, tahini avocado, labneh, olive oil and Mediterranean spices. Go big with this dip by simply using a large casserole dish and using lots of each layer ingredients. Make this spicy by stirring chopped jalepeno pepper into the hummus. Olives can be replaced with something similarly salty, like crumbled feta. Go vegan by leaving out the labneh and adding more chopped vegetables (bell peppers, cucumbers). Or try a creamy substitute made with nuts and lemon (there are lots of decent recipes out there).
- 2 cups Smooth Hummus
- 4 small or 2 large ripe avocado
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch Dried Mint
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup pitted olives, green or black or a combo, chopped
- 2 cups labneh or Greek Yogurt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
- Sumac, for dusting
- Big bowl Pita Chips
In a 9-inch glass pie plate or other glass dish with tall sides, spoon the hummus to cover the base of the dish (the hummus layer should be about an inch deep).
Scatter, or arrange, the chopped tomatoes and olives over the hummus.
In medium bowl, make the tahini avocado by mashing the avocado with the tahini, garlic, salt, dried mint, and lemon. Taste and adjust the seasonings as you see fit. Dollop the avocado over the tomato and olive layer, carefully spreading to just inside the edge, allowing the tomatoes to peek through around the edge, from the top view.
Stir the labneh well, then dollop the labneh over the avocado layer, spreading to just inside the edge to allow the lovely green avocado to show through on top. Swoop the back of a spoon over the labneh to create a well in the center.
Drizzle olive oil all over the top of the dip. Sprinkle with sumac. Serve immediately with a bowl of pita chips.