Food stylist extraordinaire Susan Spungen makes a trio of deeply delicious hummus: one plain, one beet and one herb. She presents them in big bowls with plenty of colorful, fun garnishes.
Caramelized Kimchi Baba Ghanoush
This caramelized kimchi baba ghanoush is the perfect dip for crudite and crackers, or serves as a wonderful spread on sandwiches and crostini.
This cool chicken salad in a creamy walnut sauce supposedly got its name because its color resembles the pale complexions of the Circassian beauties in the sultan's harem during the Ottoman Empire. The mild, slightly nutty chicken is traditionally served as part of a Turkish meze assortment, and can be drizzled with red pepper oil. In this version, Turkish red pepper replaces the pepper oil.
This creamy, briny dip belongs in the pantheon of classic Greek meze, alongside hummus, baba ghanoush and skordalia.
Swiss Chard Salad with Garlicky Yogurt
This Cypriot salad, which is traditionally served as part of a meze along with a glass of anise-flavored raki, is particularly refreshing. Instead of blanching the Swiss chard in boiling water, Musa Dagdeviren rubs salt into the leaves and then wilts them in a warm skillet, thus retaining all the vibrant color and flavor.
Salt Cod Fritters with Garlicky Skordalia
Skordalia is traditionally a thick, tangy puree of boiled or baked potatoes (or water-soaked bread) mixed with lots of garlic and olive oil. At the busy new fish restaurant 7 Seas in Thessaloniki, the skordalia is thinned with yogurt and water to make a dipping sauce for tender, anise-accented nuggets of salt cod. In the United States, cod cured quickly at home is usually better than anything you can buy.
Lima Bean Hummus
The buttery texture of lima beans make an outstanding smooth and creamy hummus. Serve them up with some vegetables or crackers and you have the perfect party dip.
Ember-Roasted Baba Ghanoush
Michael Chiarello takes advantage of every hot coal by cooking whole eggplants and onions directly on the embers while grilling fruit and other vegetables on the grate. The eggplant and onions become this smoky dip.
Egyptian Spiced Carrot Puree
The Egyptian Spiced spice blend known as dukka includes toasted ground cumin, coriander and sesame seeds; Ana Sortun gives it a twist by adding toasted coconut. The carrot dish here is traditionally eaten by first dipping bread in oil and then in the dukka before spooning the puree on top. It's typical of North Africa;s qimia--a version of tapas or meze.