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Off the Menu: Mezze platter at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton

Simple and sensational — Kassi Beach House’s memory-making mezze platter makes entertaining a breeze. | By Leanne Philip | November 3, 2022

As we inch closer to the holiday season, visions of cocktail parties and family feasts begin dancing in our heads. What do we serve? How do we time it all? Inquiring hosts want to know. That’s where Josh Stockton, executive chef at Kassi Beach House in Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton, comes in.

Stockton is used to catering to a party, after all that’s exactly what you get when dining at Kassi. The restaurant’s laid-back trattoria atmosphere lends itself to all-day celebrating — complete with a DJ and accompanying electric violinist. The menu follows suit, featuring a delectable line-up of coastal Italian pizzas, pastas and more just waiting to be shared. One dish on every guest’s list? The mezze platter: A triple threat of whipped ricotta, creamy eggplant and spicy white bean dips, served alongside crisp crudite and hot-from-the-oven Puccia bread.

Says chef Stockton, “I love taking care of people… creating good food for a good time and having people enjoy themselves.” And it shows. Stockton’s commitment to carefully sourced ingredients and attention to detail are what make the restaurant’s culinary offerings shine.

Luckily for us (and all of you!), chef Stockton wants to help everyone find that perfect party glow by sharing his tips on how to create Kassi Beach House’s crowd-favorite mezze platter at home. For example, don’t feel brave enough to make your own bread? Head to your local pizza parlor or grocery store to get some ready-made pizza dough. Roll it out, bake and you’ll have fresh-from-the-oven “homemade” bread with minimal effort.

So, get ready to cause a stir at your next celebration. Trust us, these three dips won’t disappoint.

Mezze PlatterMezze Platter

Cooking time: 2 hours

Makes three dips

Eggplant Dip ingredients

2 eggplants

4 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons creme fraiche

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Optional: extra-virgin olive oil

Whipped Ricotta ingredients

32 ounces ricotta

1/3 ounce lemon zest

1/4 ounce kosher salt

Honey, to desired amount

White Bean Puree ingredients

1.9 fluid ounces canola oil

1 3/4 ounces yellow onion

3 1/2 ounces garlic, minced

Pinch chili flakes

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

1 can cannellini beans

4 1/4 cups water

5 bay leaves

1/3 ounce thyme

2.9 fluid ounces extra-virgin olive oil

Salsa rosa*, to desired amount

*To make salsa rosa, combine crushed Calabrian chili, olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, garlic and salt in a bowl. Mix until completely incorporated.

Eggplant dip preparation

Peel and dice eggplants. Place in a saucepan over medium heat.

Pan-roast eggplants with garlic, cook down until nice and soft.

Remove from heat and add to a blender. Puree until smooth.

Add creme fraiche and blend until fully incorporated.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place into serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Whipped ricotta dip preparation

In a food processor, combine ricotta, lemon zest and salt.

Puree until smooth.

Place into a serving bowl and top with honey.

White bean puree dip preparation

Take a large, heavy-bottom pot. Add canola oil and place on low-medium heat.

Add onions, garlic, chili flake, salt and pepper and sauté until soft and colorless.

Add the beans, water, bay leaf and thyme. Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce by half.

Remove the thyme and bay leaves. Place mixture inside a blender and puree until completely smooth. Emulsify in the extra-virgin olive oil.

Taste, add salt if needed.

Allow to cool then place in serving dish.

Finish with salsa rosa.

Serve your three dips alongside a selection of crudite and warm pita bread.

(Recipe from Kassi Beach House Executive Chef Josh Stockton, 2022.)

Leanne Philip is a content marketing manager at Hilton. She has written for numerous print and digital platforms, including Travel + Leisure, The Atlantan and Barneys New York.

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