Let’s Get This Party Started

I suppose you’re going to ask me
what I’m making for the Super Bowl? The answer is: I have no idea! I’m sure it will involve self-serve chili or, even better, some kind of sandwich situation so I don’t have to break out any utensils. (Remember Heidi’s Super Bowl Sammies?) One thing I know for sure is that there will be plenty of dips and snacks to get the party started off right. Here are the ones in the running — for this weekend, and for all the other gatherings this winter, too.

Mediterranean “Nachos” (shown, recipe below) Because feta and lentils and spices are my jam. And because the regular kind are so predictable. (Though you’ll find those very predictable, very delicious nachos on Page 264 of How to Celebrate Everything)

Roast Vegetable Dips I did a bunch of these for last year’s Super Bowl, and if you follow me on instagram, you know that every last one of them was a hit, so I ended up made them all year long, any time people came over for dinner. My favorite is the cauliflower and onion (I throw in a little prepared horseradish for some bite), but the best thing about the recipes is that you can improvise and it’s almost impossible to mess up.

Classic Artichoke Dip
Obviously I did not invent this, but I’m pretty confident it’s the best one out there. Remember that time I decided to make a pizza out of it? Man that was good, and not a bad twist for a Super Bowl party.

Pan-fried Onion Dip If it’s Ina’s favorite, I’m guessing it’s good. (Photo credit: The Barefoot Contessa.)

Cheddar Horseradish in
Dip form or Ball form. I am powerless when confronted with this combination of flavors. (Photo is from New Year’s Eve 2016 with my brother- and sister-in-law. Finally an excuse to use it!)

Kimchi Dip Just five ingredients, and one of them is salt. My friend Amiel, who developed the recipe recommends Mrs.Kim’s brand kimchi if you can find it. “It’s the real deal, with both grass-fed beef broth and anchovies in the mix,” he says, but looks like it’s mostly a Tri-State/Pennsylvania area thing. If you don’t live in that hood he recommends the one they sell by the bucket at H-Mart, Lotte, or your favorite Korean grocery store. (Photo: Alex Lau for Bon Appetit)

Minty Pea Dip This one never gets old — and, with it’s brightness in color and flavor, it’s an especially welcome addition to a spread of beigey, heavy, creamy numbers. P.S. You can also make it tonight for a regular old vegetarian dinner, just spread some on toast and serve with sautéed garlicky mushrooms on the side.

Feta-Lemon Dip How good would this be with with sliced vegetables? (Photo: Alexandra Grablewski.)

Pretzel Bites with Cheese This recipe is a little bit involved, but my kids would freak. OK fine, their parents would too. (Photo: Two Peas & Their Pod.)

Nori Sour Cream Dip
The Korean version of Lipton’s Sour Cream and Onion Soup Dip. (Photo by: Rocky Luten for Food52.)

Mediterranean Nachos
Total time: 35 minutes
Hands-on time: 25 minutes

1 16-ounce bag pita chips (plain)
3 cups cooked lentils*
4 tablespoons minced red onions, divided
2 tablespoons Za’atar
2 1/2 cups feta, crumbled (about 12-15 ounces)
2 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, chopped finely
1 1/2 cups cucumbers, chopped finely
2/3 cup parsley
Juice from one lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place pita chips in a baking dish. (The baking dish will double as a serving dish, so if you are serving to guests, make sure you like the way it looks.)

In a small bowl, mix together lentils, 2 tablespoons minced red onion, and za’atar. Scatter on top of pita chips, making sure to nestle a few beneath the top layer of chips. (You might want to toss the whole thing a bit to let the lentils fall into the crevices.)

Spread feta on top, distributing to cover as many chips surface area as possible. Bake for 10 minutes until feta is warm and melty.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together tomatoes, cucumbers, remaining red onion, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Remove pitas from oven. Using a slotted spoon, top the dish with the fresh tomato mixture, placing extra “salsa” in a small bowl beside the dish for supplementing.

*You can buy cooked lentils everywhere now, but if you are making your own: Bring 1 1/2 cups dried lentils and 4 1/2 cups water to a boil, then simmer until lentils are tender but still have some bite, about 15 minutes. Bonus if you can find beluga lentils which are black and tiny and look like caviar.

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My SIL isn’t eating dairy right now. Any thoughts on a substitution for the roasted vegetable dips? Thanks!


Angie – have you tried/are you aware of non-dairy yogurt? I think there are several different ones made now. One that I like is made from cashews. The brand, or name on the label, is Forager Project. It’s quite good!

Hope this is helpful.


Have you using cashew cream as a substitute? I’ll bet it would be great in the butternut squash/leek one. Also, you can leave out the yogurt for a few of the dips and they’re fine. If your MIL likes sweet potatoes, here’s a great one for you: https://tinyurl.com/y9srlmwm


Hi, just so you know: the link for the Nori Sour Cream Dip goes to the Pretzel Bites instead.


Nigella makes a aubergine/beef thing with kind of a warm hummus on top all piled onto pita chips topped with pomegranate and mint – she calls it Middle Eastern nachos. We eat it instead of proper dinner often when friends come over. It’s delish!