Sunday, February 19, 2012

Three party dips

Thank you for the nice comments on my last post! My mom and I cooked like crazy for the celebration party that we threw last night. We both love cooking, so we had a lot of fun with the preparations. All the food came out great, and the party was wonderful! Here are some photos of the spread:


Clockwise from the top left: blue cheese tart, butternut squash and apple bruschetta, zucchini and goat cheese rolls with raisins and pistachios, Italian stuffed mushrooms. The bruschetta recipe can be found here on Tri to Cook, and the zucchini rolls recipe can be found here on Cara's Cravings.


On the dessert table, we had monster cookies (peanut butter oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and M&Ms), chocolate-whiskey cake, gingerbread whoopie pies with maple buttercream, and cranberry pecan caramel bars.


We also made three dips that we served with pita chips and veggies. We had roasted red pepper and eggplant dip, Persian yogurt and spinach dip, and herbed lima bean hummus. I promised to tell you about all the party recipes, and I'm going to start with these dips. I've already posted the roasted red pepper and eggplant dip recipe, so you can check that out if you want. The lima bean dip is a great twist on traditional chickpea hummus, and is super flavorful due to garlic, cilantro, parsley, dill, mint, and cumin. The spinach and yogurt dip is creamy and delicious, and went especially well with the veggies. The three dips all had unique and distinct flavors but still complemented each other very well. Well, without further delay, here are the recipes!

Herbed lima bean hummus
Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
Makes about 4 cups

One note: At first it might seem like there is too much onion and garlic in the recipe, but the flavors really get softened and mellow out after boiling and draining, so don't worry about it.

20 ounces frozen baby lima beans
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped chilantro
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chile powder
3 tbs fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
5 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs chopped dill
2 tbs chopped mint
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine lima beans, onion, garlic, and salt in a pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Simmer mixture, covered, until beans are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove pot from heat, stir in parsley and cilantro, and let sit for 5 minutes, uncovered. Drain.

Combine bean mixture with cumin, chile powder, lemon juice, 4 tbs oil, dill, and mint in a food processor and blend until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

Before serving, season dip with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbs olive oil and serve with pita chips, crackers, or veggies.

Dip can be made a couple days in advance. Bring dip to room temperature, adjust seasonings, and drizzle with oil right before serving.

Persian spinach and yogurt dip
Adapted from The Food52 Cookbook

(FYI - the photo above was taken before we added the walnuts.)

12 ounces baby spinach
1 large garlic clove, minced and divided
2 tbs olive oil
11 ounces full fat Greek yogurt
Dried mint
1 handful chopped walnuts, toasted
Good quality extra-virgin olive oil

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add spinach and blanch for about 1 minute, until spinach is tender. Drain spinach well and chop. In a medium saucepan, saute half of the minced garlic in 2 tbs olive oil over medium heat for a couple minutes. Add the spinach and a pinch of salt, and saute for an additional 5 minutes or so. Remove pan from heat and set spinach aside to cool.

Squeeze out any excess liquid from the spinach and then mix it with the yogurt and remaining raw garlic. Season with salt and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle 1 tbs good quality extra-virgin olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with walnuts and mint. Serve with pita or veggies.

Dip can be made a couple days in advance. Drizzle with olive oil and add the walnuts and mint right before serving. 


  1. Wow what a yummylecious spread! Congrats on your PhD.

  2. These sound good! I'm especially intrigued by the lima bean hummus - I really like lima beans, but don't eat them enough.

  3. everything looks fantastic, what a spread! i'm not sure if i like lima beans, and that makes me think that i should try that dip :)

  4. Gotta love that bruschetta. And that dessert spread looks like my wildest dreams :)

  5. oh my gosh! can I come over? everything looks SO good!

  6. That spinach dip looks AMAZING. Oh, and those whoopie pies? Omgosh!


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