Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

One day, I went looking for a simple spinach artichoke dip recipe, and to my complete amazement, I didn't find one. You'd think that something so ubiquitous would be everywhere, and yet, all the recipes I encountered seemed either unnecessarily complicated or just downright strange. There were recipes with cream cheese and recipes with sour cream. There was even a recipe that used mayo, cream cheese AND sour cream all together. There was another that combined mayo, crème fraîche, Parmesan, Mascarpone and goat cheese. I mean, that's a bit of an overkill for a humble dish that should be a no-brainer, right? Ingredients like onions and breadcrumbs crept into the lists. Red pepper flakes. Jack cheese. Heavy cream. Eh?!

Spinach Artichoke Dip

After half an hour of searching, I was done with all of that. I decided I would just trust my instincts and wing it. Like with my apple pie a while back, I put into the dip just what I thought should be there. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't believe in fancifying food just for the sake of making it "unique." I made half a recipe for a lunch party of 6, just to test the waters, so to speak. That was my only mistake - I should have doubled it. It was the most passed dish on the table, though it was by no means meant to be the star of the appetizer course. Seriously - this dip is straight up and no-nonsense, and I think because of it, it's pretty darn good. Give it a try for your next party and serve it up with sourdough baguette toasts or tangy olive bread - I promise, you're going to love it.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 15-oz can artichoke hearts, drained
1 cup finely chopped sauteed spinach (or 1 cup of chopped frozen spinach, defrosted)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus a pinch for the top
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
a good squeeze of lemon juice
salt and freshly grated pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400F and prepare a baking dish.

Chop the artichoke hearts roughly, but not into too large pieces. Combine half the chopped artichoke hearts, half the Parmesan and all the other ingredients except for the garlic in a food processor and process for a few 5 second pulses until fairly smooth (if you like really smooth dip, use all the ingredients - I like mine with a little bit of texture).

Stir in the rest of the artichoke hearts, the rest of the Parmesan cheese and the chopped garlic. Taste to adjust the seasoning. There shouldn't be any need for more salt, but I like to add pepper for a little bit of a bite. Also add more lemon juice if you like.

Transfer to the baking dish, top with a few pinches of Parmesan, and bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden. Serve hot, but make sure to save a bite for yourself (cook's privilege!) because this stuff goes quickly.

19 comments:

Rambling Tart said...

Splendid, splendid! This looks so creamy and good, but not outrageously rich. I have a party to go to this weekend and this looks perfect to bring along!!! :-)

♥peachkins♥ said...

I am actually looking for a recipe for spinach and artichoke dip..thanks.

Val said...

This looks delicious. I love that you stayed clear of all the heavy cream and extra cheese.

oneordinaryday said...

Very similar to my recipe and it is by far my favorite and most requested dip. This looks delicious. I wish I had some right now!!

Orlando personal injury lawyer said...

Amazing! Looks so yummy... I tried to make some spinach artichoke dip last week actually, but it didn't come out looking half as great as this.

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El said...

This sounds delicious and looks amazing. I could definitely go for some right now!

ChichaJo said...

Delicious! You are so right...this is such a simple dish and I have also come across recipes that list so many ingredients! My standby spinach artichoke dish is pretty much like this as well, with equal amounts mayo and cheese...that's that! :)

Junglefrog said...

Wonderful job you did on that dip! And you're right; it is the chef's privilige to at least save some bites for yourself..:)

Nina said...

This is my fav one.Looks lovely.First time to ur blog....looks great.

The Caked Crusader said...

I smiled when I read this - there is a restaurant near work that my friend and I go to solely for this dip! They serve it as a started with nachos!

Julia (alias Yulinka Cooks) said...

You know, I've been looking for a good crab artichoke dip recipe, and everything I find calls for mayo, sour cream, butter *and* a ton of cheese! Such overkill.

So hurray for simple, reasonably rich dip recipes. I will try this, and add crab. :)

Irene said...

Oooh crab.... that sounds SO good!

Ash said...

one of my most favorite things!!!!

Nicole said...

Just finished prepping this in the kitchen. It will be a great snack for watching the Academy Awards tonight!

College Term Papers said...

This looks delicious,I also want to eat this creamy "Spinach Artichoke Dip".

Turmericnspice said...

Love the way you showcase your food!!....you have a great space!!

Chief said...

I found your post of this a while back, gonna give it a try today as one of the appetizers for some football fans. Looks yummy.

Ellie D. said...

I just made this to go with your every day bread---- both were fantastic. This dip was a great hit. I followed the recipe exactly and was pleased with the results. Thank you for posting it!