Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday snackin' Spinach and artichoke dip

*WARNING- If you are on a low fat diet, look away*

I love spinach and artichoke dip... I practically lived on it when I was pregnant with Jacob. It was the only thing I actually craved and didn't make me nauseous to eat. Although mostly lighter cheeses were used, there is a lot of it in here.

This recipe fills a large serving dish, and would be an impressive appetizer, but I just whipped it up because, well. I wanted too. Julia and I enjoyed it for 2 days. It was just as delicious reheated in the microwave.

OK so lets get cheesy. You need 3 cheeses for this recipe. You could even do 4 dare I say it, but I decided not to go with the expected topper of Parmesan. Had this been made for a party however, I would have.

Start with 1 large clove of garlic chopped super tiny and some butter in the pot. Toss in a large bag of fresh baby spinach. I used roughly 1 tablespoon butter but I am sure olive oil would be fine too. After the spinach looks cooked and wilty and the garlic is browned and smells amazing its time to take it out of the pot. Drain the spinach but keep the juices. Chop the spinach and keep it near by. Open a can of artichoke hearts and throw it in the pot with the spinachy, buttery garlic infused juices. While its cooking smush it around with a spoon to soften it up a bit. When they start to brown, take it out and throw them in a food processor until creamy. If you don't have one, use a potato masher, meat mallet, fork. SOMETHING!

The artichokes eat up all of that liquid so back in the pot go 2 tablespoons butter and equal parts flour, yes a RUE. Slowly pour in 1 cup of milk. I used 2% but 1% would be healthier and work just as well. Once it starts to simmer up to a light boil, add in 3/4 cup crumbled Feta and 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Once it loosens up a bit and starts to boil again, add in 1 package light cream cheese/neufchatel that has been softened. Once smooth, add in your spinach and your artichoke paste and bring to a simmer again. Pour into an oven safe serving dish and bake at 375.

20 Minutes later you will have a bubbling, gooey, cheesy dip to enjoy. Julia and I used little Tofuyan whole wheat pita bites, but you could use tortilla chips or pretzel thins, whatever your style.

If I was a  fancy pants and had one of those kitchen torches, I would've browned it even further. Adding that top sprinkle of parmesan would have also increased browning. But since I wasn't showcasing the darn thing, its no big deal. It tasted fresher, better and less greasy than any spinach and artichoke dip I have ever ordered. And I've ordered it A LOT.

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