Fast, Wholesome, and Delicious Dip for Holiday Gatherings

Don’t get me wrong: I love all those ooey, gooey, creamy, cheesy dips that you stick salty, fatty chips into then slurp up. Yum, then groan; I can practically feel the little globules of fat attaching themselves to my midriff. Oh, for the long-gone days of a superlative metabolism.

So, with considerable joy I offer up this lovely alternative, chock full of wholesome ingredients and as satisfying a treat as anything drenched in sour cream. Plus the fact that it is made with easily acquired, pre-made ingredients, ought to appeal to many, even some of us die-hard, from-scratch cooks who need a break once in a while.

I learned to make this from Toby’s daughter-in-law Tara when we visited with her and Ian and three grandkiddies this past fall. Ian does quite lot of the cooking so while he worked on the chicken, Tara assembled the dip out of hummus, tabouli, and feta cheese. All she did was spread a layer of hummus on a serving plate, sprinkle over it a layer of tabouli, pretty with green parsley and chopped red tomatoes, then scattered bit of finely crumbled feta over that. She passed pita chips to scoop it up with. It was ridiculously delicious. Ridiculously easy.

Don’t fret about how thick the layers ought to be. Make it as thick or thin as you like. Equal quantities of the two works well. Taste the hummus and the tabouli before spreading and decide if you think a squeeze of lemon juice or a dribble of olive oil would improve the situation and add them if they are needed. A sprinkle of feta is sufficient, maybe two or three tablespoons. These days you can also acquire crumbled feta for sprinkling. Obviously, you can also scoop this dip up with carrots slices cut crosswise into generous ovals; or cucumber slices, celery, peppers; then you can congratulate yourself for serving salad as an appetizer.

If you have favorite recipes for homemade hummus and/or tabouli, don’t let me stand in the way of your concocting a from-scratch version of this dish. Otherwise, pick up a package of each on your way home from work or next time you run to the store. Or maybe make it two packages.

Hummus, Tabouli, and Feta Dip
  • 1 package premade hummus dip
  • 1 package premade tabouli
  • Lemon juice, optional to taste
  • Olive oil, optional to taste
  • Salt and pepper, optional to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese.
  • Pita or other chips and/or vegetables for dipping.
  1. Spread about half an inch of hummus over a serving plate.
  2. Spread about half an inch of tabouli over the hummus.
  3. Add optional lemon juice and or olive oil if needed, to taste.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Sprinkle the crumbled feta evenly over the tabouli.
  6. Serve with chips or vegetables.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.