Before any big meal, whether's it's Thanksgiving or just a dinner party, strike a balance with light yet flavorful starters that hit the spot without spoiling appetites. These vegetable-based dips can be made up to three days in advance, so you can focus on day-of activities, such as roasting and baking, as your guests graze. The light apps pair best with crisp crackers and flatbreads, so I've also included our favorite vessels for group scooping.
Vibrant colors come naturally to these hors d’oeuvres. Here, golden and red beets infuse hummus with contrasting jewel tones.
Pair with: Mario Fongo Lingue di Suocera Italian flatbread, $9 for 200g, available at Italian specialty shops.
Creamy Broccoli-Spinach Dip
Let broccoli take a dip alongside spinach instead of the usual canned artichokes. Ricotta and Parmesan add just the right amount of richness, while lemon and fresh basil brighten up the addictive spread.
Pair with: Sigdal Bakeri Rye & Spelt Bran whole-grain crispbread, $36 for 47 oz., walmart.com.
Our take on the classic Indian condiment known as raita swaps out the usual cucumbers and mint for shredded carrots and fresh cilantro. It's worth seeking out the sweet-and-spicy Indian lime pickles called for in this recipe -- they add wonderful depth of flavor.
Pair with: Pride of India plain papadums, $10 for 8, amazon.com.