Trio of (Vegan!) Mediterranean Dips

Apologies for the alarmingly long gap in between posts- Alex and I went and visited my family in Nebraska (our first ever review from there is coming soon!) and are super behind on life, as well as blogging! We’ll try to get a few more posts out this week, and it the meantime here are three delicious vegan dips; basil hummus, olive tapenade and roasted red pepper walnut dip! I made these a few months ago for a vegan friends’ welcome home party and they were a complete success! People absolutely loved them, and the flavours of these three dips in particular complement each other beautifully.

Basil Hummus:

1 can (15 oz) chickpeas

tahini (see below)

2 freshly squeezed lemons

2 tbsp EVOO

2 large garlic cloves

2 tsp cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup basil leaves, rinsed

To make the hummus we first started by making some tahini, which was super simple. We toasted 1/2 cup of sesame seeds, and then once they were cooled, blended them.

Once the tahini was ready, I added the rest of the hummus ingredients to the blender, save the basil. After these ingredients were blended, I added the basil to the mix. If you prefer your hummus thinner than what is happening at this point, add some hot water to achieve your desired consistency.

Once the mixture had reached a smooth consistency, I spooned it out, topped it with some chickpeas, EVOO and cayenne…one down, two to go!

Olive Tapenade:

3 large cloves of garlic

1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 tbs capers, drained

1 handful chopped parsley

2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tbs EVOO

salt and pepper

For the olive tapenade, I blended all of the ingredients thoroughly, and then added salt and pepper to taste (not much salt is needed, since the capers add plenty already). It was a delicious tapenade that really celebrated kalamata olives- and was my favourite of the three!

Such a gorgeous dish. When topped with some freshly chopped parsley, the colours really pop.

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip:

1 8oz jar of roasted red peppers

1/3 cup breadcrumbs from a baguette

3/4 tsp salt

3 garlic cloves

little less than 1/2 cup toasted walnuts

2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp sugar

1/8 cup EVOO

And last but not least, a delicious roasted red pepper dip! This is the only dip that isn’t gluten free, but our gluten-intolerant friend couldn’t stop herself from eating it, because she found this dip so delicious. An easy substitute would be corn chips instead of bread. For this one we started by pulsing a roughly chopped baguette chunk until it had formed fine breadcrumbs. Then we added everything but the olive oil, and processed until it had formed a chunky puree.

Once the puree was formed, we added the olive oil, bit by bit, until it had all been incorporated. We garnished the dish with some extra walnuts and parsley- its warm, nutty flavours really resonated with our dinner guests.

All done! So simple, and stunning! People were super impressed with the final product(s), and were shocked that they were all homemade. A surefire set of winners at any party!

– priya

Olive Tapenade, Basil Hummus and Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip