Those of you who are also teachers and/or work in schools know how special the first day of summer is, and today, we celebrate with the cheesiest spinach and artichoke dip in all the land!
Surprisingly, I’ve never made spinach artichoke dip, despite the fact that I tend to hover near it at parties. After browsing several options I selected this recipe for my experiment as it includes FOUR cheese varieties. The Pioneer Woman aptly named it “the best spinach artichoke dip ever,” and as always her original recipe is filled with great images and her usual wit.
The process of making the dip turned out to be quite simple and one that can easily be adapted in the future. Butter and garlic into a pan, add the veggies, make a cheesy sauce, combine, bake and serve! I did find, however, that I prefer my spinach and artichoke dip to have a bit more spinach and artichoke flavor so you will see that reflected in the ‘thoughts for next time’ at the bottom. That said, this dip was well loved by all, because really… who doesn’t like warm gooey cheese.
Now I am off to spread cookbooks across the dining room table and dig into some reading and planning for my summer weeks ahead. I’ve been in a grilling mood and have also been searching for fun summer salads and sides. What are your favorites?
- 28 oz can of artichokes
- 5 Tablespoons of butter
- 4 Tablespoons of garlic
- 5 oz of fresh spinach
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups of whole milk
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup pepper jack
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
Steps and Notes:
- Drain the artichokes and place in a small bowl
- In a skillet, add half of the butter and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Increase the heat in the skillet and add the spinach, salt and pepper.
- After the spinach has wilted, remove the spinach and strain the juices back into the saute pan. Place the spinach in a side bowl.
- In the pan (which has the buttery, garlicky, spinach juice) saute the artichokes. Cook these for about 4 minutes until brown. Then remove and place back into the bowl.
- Now make the sauce by first melting the rest of the butter and then adding the flour. Whisk to combine into a paste and cook for a minute over low heat.
- Add the milk and cook for 3 minutes.
- It is ok to add a bit more milk here so that the sauce doesn’t get too thick.
- Then, add the cream cheese and stir until it melts. Next, add the crumbled feta, then the parmesan. And pepper jack. Mix well until melted.
- Add the cayenne and taste
- Chop the artichokes and spinach and mix them both into the cheese sauce.
- Place into a baking dish and place in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes
- Serve with toasted pitas cut into wedges!
Thoughts for Next Time:
- For this recipe, increase the artichokes and spinach and double the cayenne
- Try this light version from Skinnytaste. I’ve never made this specific recipe but her thing are always full of flavor and healthy!
- Bake in individual ramekins for easy serving on several party tables (then everyone gets the delicious crust)
- Cook it in a crock pot!