Spinach Artichoke Dip

26 Sep

Artichoke DipI am on my way to my friend M’s house tonight – see her new baby and new house, and just hang out with one of my best friends for a while. So I thought I would post now, rather than later tomorrow trying to catch up πŸ™‚ This Spinach Artichoke Dip was part of the birthday party yesterday. Its delicious. So good – piping hot and bubbling right out of the oven, at room temperature during the course of the party, and cold from the fridge the next day as part of a post party makeshift lunch.

And easy?! This is all about your sense of taste – so eyeball it, taste, adjust, and repeat. I use organic garlic powder here rather than garlic salt (which I find too salty, and too chemical tasting) or minced fresh garlic, which I find too sharp. Garlic powder adds a round sweetness to the dish which I love. As for the spinach and artichoke? Frozen and canned, albeit organic. You dont need the fresh here – in fact, the frozen and canned are better because they are sturdier. Just get the best quality you can.

This dish reminds me of the time I worked as a waitress in college over one Thanksgiving. A very wealthy woman was having a party, and needed help. Memorable because I made a huge amount of money but thats besides the point – amongst all the amazing things she served, she made one thing that stood out in my memory. In a large ramekin, she mixed mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese and a heaping amount of parmesan. She then baked this concoction in the oven quite high and served the bubbling unctuous slightly burnt cheesy result as a dip. I was amazed at such alchemy. This dish is a little more healthy (it basically has the addition of vegetables!) but the principle is the same – the mixture is so much more than the individual ingredients – and their transformative space is the heat of the oven.

Plus, people will tell you not only how good it is (“Its like you get at the restaurant!”) but also how complex the flavours. Its difficult to tell them that it takes about 5 minutes to put together πŸ˜‰

For a medium baking dish, you will need:

  • 16-ounce packet frozen chopped spinach
  • 14-ounce can artichokes
  • 8-ounce packet cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (or so) roughly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup (or so) roughly grated romano cheese
  • Couple heaping tablespoons sour cream
  • Couple heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried basil

Preheat the oven to 130C (350F)

Drain the frozen chopped spinach, and squeeze tightly with you your hands to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Put into a large mixing bowl.

Drain the artichokes, and roughly chop. Add to the bowl.

Cut the cream cheese up roughly straight into the bowl.

Add 1/2 cup each of parmesan and romano, and a few heaping tablespoons each of sour cream and mayonnaise. Using a fork, stir to combine. Make sure that everything is fully incorporated.

Sprinkle over garlic powder and basil and combine again.

Taste. This is the most important part of the recipe. You might want to add more cheese, more garlic powder, more sour cream – its up to you, and is what will make your recipe taste individual. Basically, just make sure the mixture is the texture of a stiffish cookie dough. Keep adjusting until it tastes exactly as you want it.

Transfer the mixture to a baking pan, and sprinkle a bit of additional cheese over the top if you like.

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until bubbling and the cheese has browned nicely.

Serve immediately, or at room temperature.

Wonderful the next day as a spread, on toast, or reheated.

4 Responses to “Spinach Artichoke Dip”

  1. delectableblog September 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    PS – I made this ahead the night before – everything but the baking! I wrapped up the unbaked casserole dish and refrigerated it and then baked it an hour before the event. Perfection!

  2. Karolina O'Donoghue October 30, 2010 at 7:36 pm #

    I was totally fascinated by this one – the idea of this woman just wantonly baking mayo and parmesan and cream cheese together and that producing alchemy!

    I just tried it, and it was amazing! What a totally unlikely combination it is. Mixing it up, I thought “is she sure?”. But it’s genius.

    I didn’t actually have artichokes, or romano, or garlic powder, LOL. But you know how it is! Fresh spinach, courgettes and pesto, and it was good to go. And I can really see myself doing this again, it’s quick and will go with all sorts of things. Definitely another good reason to buy artichokes.

    Um, there actually weren’t any leftovers for a cold dip tomorrow, I must confess!

    xxxxx thanks P

    • delectableblog October 31, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      LOL Karo! Thats me … a mayo-parmesan wanton baker πŸ˜‰ Glad you enjoyed it … and yeah, its an amazingly bendable recipe – you can add anything you like to it, if you know what youre doing, as you do πŸ˜‰

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pushing Boundaries « delectable - December 16, 2010

    […] made a batch of Starry Starry Night cookies, and two small pots of baked artichoke, spinach and parmesan dip (adding a lot more garlic, and some chili to spice it up a bit), served with tortilla chips and […]

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