Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Spinach Artichoke Dip - a hot appetizer for a cold day

I suspect even veggie-haters would enjoy this creamy spinach artichoke dip. Fresh garlic and crushed red pepper give it just a little zing without overpowering. Simple to make, it works well as a hot appetizer or party hors d'oeuvre.


1/2 lb fresh spinach
1 tbsp butter
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
baguette to serve


1.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

2.  Thoroughly wash the spinach and remove any large stems. Melt a pat of butter in a large frying pan. Add the spinach and about a 1/4 cup of liquid (water, chicken stock, or white wine). Saute until the spinach leaves are fully wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Drain any excess moisture and set aside.

3.  Using a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, beat the cream cheese, crushed garlic, spices, and parmesan together until fully combined, scraping the bowl once or twice. (Note: if you do not have a stand mixer, use "whipped" cream cheese because it is easier to work by hand or with a hand-held mixer.)

4.  Fold the cooked spinach and chopped artichoke hearts into the cream cheese with a spoon, stirring to fully incorporate.

5.  Spread the mixture into a 6"x9" glass baking dish or ceramic ramekins. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

6.  Cut thin slices of baguette and lightly toast them in the oven on cookie sheets at 350F for about 4 minutes.

7. Serve the baguette slices topped with a spoonful of dip.


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