Italian 5-Layer Dip

Good morning my food-loving friends!

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

How’s everyone’s weekend going so far? Up to anything fun? I’ve been working hard on a really fun surprise I have in store for all of you. It’s the first time I’ve done something like this and if (when! positive thinking here…) it turns out the way I hope I know you are just going to love it. Stay tuned for March to see what it is!

But enough of building up the suspense, today I’m sharing yet another fun recipe that you can make for Super Bowl ONE WEEK FROM TODAY! This Italian 5-Layer Dip is a fun twist on the classic Mexican 5-Layer Dip and can be as involved or uninvolved as you want. I’ve made all of the layers from scratch, but there are a few where you can certainly use store-bought versions as well.

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

Let me just tell you, I am so excited about this recipe. I’ve been envisioning an Italian 5-Layer Dip for a while, and I tested it out once a while back but that version still needed some fine tuning. This version turned out JUST how I had hoped. Each layer has the perfect balance of flavors: savory and perfectly seasoned with just the right amount of acidity. And they all come together beautifully.

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

Let’s talk about each layer here real quick:

The base layer is practically a hummus, but with more of an Italian twist. I simply took white beans and pureed them with some fresh rosemary, olive oil and lemon juice. If you have a food processor or a decent blender, this is so easy. And so tasty! I kind of wanted to stop right there and scoop it all up with a giant pita, but I held back because I was so excited to taste the final product.

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

For the second layer we’re making a pesto. Now, this is one of those layers that you can easily buy pre-made, but if you’ve already got your food processor (or blender) out, you might as well make your own, super tasty homemade version. We keep it classic here (basil, pine nuts, Parmesan or Asiago, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice) but you could easily play around with this. Why not try kale instead of basil? Or almonds instead of pine nuts? The possibilities are endless!

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

Next, we’re headed to eggplant caponata town. Keep your food processor out, because we will be using it again, but we’ve got to get this cooking on the stove for a little bit first. We sauté eggplant, olive oil, garlic and onion… Throw in a little white wine for acidity and some extra flavor, and when that’s all said and done we throw it in the food processor for a rough chop, just enough so it’s easily spreadable.

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

You still with me here? I’m sure you’ve all made bruschetta before. Tomatoes, basil and garlic are the perfect trifecta and the next layer in this Italian 5-Layer Dip. I’m sure you could also find a store-bought version of this, but fresh is so good! We’re almost there.

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

The last thing we need to do is sprinkle on a little more Asiago or Parmesan cheese. I chose to use Asiago because I felt it was a little heartier and easier to grate, but there are so many options out there!

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

Now, we could eat this right here, right now. But is anyone else as much of a sucker for a browned, gooey, melty cheese as I am? I popped this bad boy under the broiler for five minutes or so, and I was so happy I did. The dip came out with such a beautiful golden cheese top layer I could hardly wait long enough to snap some photos before I dug in (that will teach me to not skip breakfast on recipe prep days!)

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

But enough of me rambling on about this Italian 5-Layer Dip. Are you ready to rush out to the store and get to trying this right away? I myself am super pumped that I still have this sitting in my refrigerator. Didn’t I just mention something about breakfast goals?

Italian 5-Layer Dip

Yield: Makes one 8-inch square dish of dip.

A delicious dip featuring classic Italian flavors. Perfect for entertaining!

Ingredients

    For the White Bean Layer:
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans Great Northern beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
    For the Pesto Layer:
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 cup Asiago or Parmesan, grated
  • 1/3 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
    For the Eggplant Caponata Layer:
  • 1 small (or ½ of a large) eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ white onion, diced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    For the Bruschetta Layer:
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped basil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    For the Cheese Layer:
  • 1 cup Asiago or Parmesan, grated

Instructions

    To make the White Bean Layer:
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender until smooth. Spread mixture onto the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish.
    To make the Pesto Layer:
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender until smooth. Spread pesto on top of white bean layer in baking dish.
    To make the Eggplant Caponata Layer:
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, stirring until translucent. Add eggplant to pan and additional 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir to coat. Add white wine and stir again, sautéing until eggplant is cooked through. Place sautéed eggplant mixture in food processor, add salt and pepper, and pulse until mixture is mostly pureed (some small chunks are okay.) Spread this layer on top of the pesto layer in the baking dish.
    To make the Bruschetta Layer:
  1. Add all ingredients to a small mixing bowl. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Spread bruschetta on top of eggplant caponata layer.
    To Finish:
  1. Spread grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese on top of bruschetta. Place under broiler on High for 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden-brown.
  2. Serve with sliced baguette, pita bread or crackers.
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http://www.caligirlcooking.com/2016/01/31/italian-5-layer-dip/

Italian 5-Layer Dip | CaliGirl Cooking

Oh, sweet deliciousness.

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