"Mediterranean" is a broad enough term that you could include paella from Spain all the way to falafel in Iran, with lots of Greek souvlaki in between. Since it's the Super Bowl and we want mess-free fingers foods, dips are always a great idea, espcially since they can all be made the night before.
Nothing shrieks "Mediterranean" more than pita bread to me. To make the pita bread easier to dip, rather than relying on a knife or spoon to spread, use pita chips instead of plain pita. You can either bake pita wedges that have been brushed with olive oil in a 375 degree oven until crisp (Nicole adds spices to hers), or you can run over to the market and buy the pita chips that are deep-fried. I think I know what you want. Here are some suggestions to serve up Mediterrranean-style dips:
- Hummus - nothing is easier than whizzing garbanzo beans with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic in the food processor. Stefania has already given us her recipe, and I've got mine.
- Baba ghanouj - hummus doesnt have to be the only dip. Baba ghanouj is a super easy roasted eggplant dip. Simply cut 2 large regular eggplant in half lengthwise, generously brush the cut side with olive oil, put them cut-side down on a baking sheet, and roast fo 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven until super soft. Scrape the flesh into a food processor, add 1 Tbsp tahini, 2-3 cloves chopped garlic, 3-4 Tbsp lemon juice and salt to your taste. Whiz until smooth. I also add a few dashes of cumin to give it a smoky flavor.
- Olivade - Chop 2 c. pitted, salty black olives in food processor with 2 anchovy filets, 2 Tbsp capers, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2-3 cloves of garlic, and 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper.
- Tzatziki - This is a garlicky yogurt sauce that if made thicker, works great as a dip. Greek yogurt works the best, if you can't find it easily, use regular yogurt, plain and full fat. Drain the yogurt overnight in a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth. Mix the thickened yogurt with one large cucumber that has been seeded, grated, salted, and drained of most of its liquid. Add 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 3 Tbsp chopped fresh dill and 1 finely minced garlic clove.
- Taramosalata - I have never made this at home, and was only exposed to this Greek caviar spread recently in a restaurant. It seems that most people purchase it pre-made from local Greek markets or online.
- Artichoke and feta dip - It can't be a real party without cheese, so though Stefania's showed us her easy artichoke dip, make it Mediterranean by adding feta cheese. Mix in an 8" baking dish (round or square or whatever you want to serve it in) 8 oz. crumbled feta cheese with ½ c. grated Parmesan cheese, 1 15 oz. can artichoke hearts that have been chopped, 1 c. mayonnaise, and 2-3 finely chopped garlic cloves. Bake for 20 minutes in 350 degree oven.
In addition to the dips, may we also suggest some dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and spanakopita (spinach and feta cheese phyllo triangles). Obviously, you have to have baklava for dessert.