Last week I was asked to bring some snacks for teachers at a local elementary school where my mother-in-law Cindi works.  They were celebrating May birthdays and the end of the school year.  Teachers work incredibly hard, so I loved preparing special food for them to enjoy.

I arrived at school in the morning and began my set up in the teacher’s lounge before their first break.  As I placed a white cloth and serving platters on the table I began to hear a familiar tune floating in from the hallway, but to lyrics I’d never heard before…..”nocturnal animals, nocturnal animals,” they repeated. 

Little voices continued to serenade me through verses unknown, chuckles escaped my lips and a smile adorned my face the remainder of my set up.  Gotta love kindergarteners!

The other three dishes I prepared were Dark Chocolate Cherry Biscotti with Almond White Chocolate Drizzle, Mini Grapefruit Cupcakes and my Black Bean Mango Salsa with Corn Tortilla Chips (under my appetizer side tab).  I apologize for the blah pictures, school flourescent lights aren’t super flattering for food photography, but this recipe is so wonderful I had to get it out to you!

A stunning, easy appetizer or side dish for upcoming summer parties, graduations, or potlucks.  Creamy garlic hummus, smooth basil pesto, feta and sun-dried tomatoes become a huge pool for your multigrain crackers to take a dip.  Can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator overnight.  Just set out and serve with a big bowl of crackers. Gorgeous!


makes a 12″ platter (serves about 16-20 as an appetizer)

  • 16 oz HUMMUS, ROASTED GARLIC, store-bought
  • 1/2 cup BASIL PESTO, store-bought
  • 1/2 cup SUN DRIED TOMATOES, chopped
  • 1/2 small RED ONION, chopped
  • 4 oz BLACK OLIVES, sliced (1 can drained)
  • 3.5 oz FETA CHEESE, REDUCED FAT, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup GREEN BELL PEPPER or PEPPERONICIS, chopped
  • 1 tbsp PARSLEY LEAVES OR SLICED BASIL, optional garnish

1. On a 12″ flat platter* spread hummus and pesto. Layer cucumber, onion, black olives, tomatoes, green pepper and feta cheese carefully over the top. Sprinkle with a little sea salt, pepper and parsley to garnish if desired. Refrigerate until served with multigrain, or wheat crackers to dip. Serving size about 2 Tbsp dip.

*I used a foil decorative platter from a party store, it came with a raised plastic lid which worked perfectly to store.

VARIATIONS: Try sun-dried tomato pesto, other hummus flavors like roasted red pepper or other chopped vegetables.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (crackers not included): 95 calories, 6g fat, 7g carb, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, 3g protein

Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats,