spinach and artichoke dip

Originally posted: September 2008

spinach and artichoke dip

This is pure comfort food and it’s pseudo healthy food as well (look at all those greens and fibre!!!). My dear sister S first introed it to me, raving endlessly about this spinach and artichoke dip she probably had in cold country. I first had a taste when Deb made it for our cook-out. It was simply divine – the taste of spinach, artichoke and hints of garlic in between along with the heat of Cayenne pepper in all that creaminess – DIVINE!

Canned, fresh artichokes are hard to find in Singapore. But now, it’s not too bad, unless you’re willing to pay a premium. At almost 10 dollars a can on average, this dip is reserved ONLY for special occasions, extra special ones. I happened to have a can stashed away that I bought half price (yes, I hoard up when stuff is slashed, great example would be my recent Crisco buy, it was less than 5 bucks, who could resist), some frozen spinach in the fridge and four hungry boys coming over for dinner to celebrate the return of a long-lost brother (okay, it was only 2 weeks in the army). I was originally going to use Deb’s recipe but decided against it when I saw the easier-peasier recipe printed on the back of the can. With 6 ingredients to boot (btw I used only 5), nothing could be easier. I combined the ingredient ease of this recipe with the technique and process of Deb’s version and ended up with a worthy dip. I love improvisation in cooking!

Anyway, this dip is great as an appetizer (though I served it last) and can be prepared in advance. Seriously, I wonder who wouldn’t like this, just don’t tell people about how much mayo and cheese is in it. Let the greens fool them.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

(adapted from Maria’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package (8oz) of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 can (13.75 ounces or 390g) artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (The original recipe called for 1 clove)
  • 1 teaspoon (or as much or as little as you want) Cayenne pepper, for heat (this stuff is hot, do not underestimate the heat of this pepper)
  • 2-3 large handfuls of mozzarella cheese for topping (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit, 180 Celsius.

2. Put all ingredients in a food processor and blitz till smooth consistency.

3. Place in oven-safe dish, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for about 30 min.

4. Remove from oven, let it cool for about 5 min before serving.

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