If you’re looking for some quick and easy dishes to make for your holiday parties, be sure to try these four out from Rania Harris!

Pineapple – Habanero Salsa

  • 1 pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, cored, and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, and diced
  • 4 green onions, including green tops, diced
  • 1 habanero chile, seeds removed, finely minced
  • ¼ cup fresh limejuice
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


In a large bowl, combine the pineapple, bell pepper, green onions, habanero, limejuice, sugar, thyme, and salt. Stir gently to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and set aside for 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to blend.

Serve with tortilla chips

Can do ahead – This dip is best when made within 8 hours of serving, but it can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes before serving.

Goat Cheese, Chive, and Pistachio Spread

  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup shelled pistachio nuts finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper
  • Fresh ground pepper


In a food processor, process the garlic and salt until the garlic is finely minced.

Add the goat cheese and butter and process until combined and smooth. Scatter the nuts and chives over the top; add a few grinds of pepper and pulse 2 or 3 times until combined. Remove from food processor and fold in ¼ cup of chopped roasted red pepper.

Serve with Crudites and Crostini.

Can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 45 minutes before serving. Serve the spread at room temperature.

Pureed White Bean Dip

  • 2 cans white beans – drained – but reserve the liquid for the recipe
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin (or more to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • Fruity olive oil – for drizzling
  • Smoked paprika – for dusting
  • Lemon wedges
  • Pita bread, in wedges


Puree the beans in batches in a food processor with the oil, lemon juice and garlic. Add a little of the reserved bean liquid if necessary for a creamy and smooth consistency. Add the cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne.

Spread the dip in a shallow dish. Garnish the white bean dip with capers, a drizzle of the olive oil and a dusting of the smoked paprika.

Serve with lemon wedges and warmed pita bread.

Lime Mousse Dip

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Freshly grated zest of 2 large limes
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup crème fraiche


In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, lime zest, nutmeg, and salt to the bowl. Mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated, and then beat on high speed until fluffy, 1 minute longer. Add the lime juice and mix to blend in.

In separate bowl, whisk the crème fraiche with a balloon whisk until it holds soft peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the crème fraiche into the cream cheese mixture. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the mixture to thicken. Serve chilled.

Serve with strawberries and green apple slices.

This dip can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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