When you think of party appetizers that aren’t a lot of fuss – the ubiquitous choice is dip – served with bread, crackers, chips or veggies, it is not only easy to put together, but in my opinion adds a lot of interaction in the crowd. I never thought of it being a great appetizer item, until I started going to office parties, where this was the appetizer of choice – and a lot of conversations started around a bowl of dip and some chips. Jokes about double dipping – included.
The original recipe for spinach artichoke dip – has several variations that use sour cream, cream cheese with a combination of other cheeses. I have used mayonnaise in this recipe, which makes it very easy to make in the microwave. I have used fresh spinach, but feel free to substitute with frozen spinach, just squeeze out all the water. I have had the original version of this dip – usually baked in the oven. I particularly like the appetizer served at Applebees, and I must say this one – although made in 5 minutes, comes pretty close to the original version in flavor and taste.
I have served this dip with Garlic crostini which I made as follows: Slice a baguette into thin slices. Toast the baguette either on a griddle or in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F, drizzled with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, until crisp and golden brown.Take a whole garlic(peeled) and rub it on the freshly toasted baguette slices. You can serve them with these or with chips or pita triangles.
(Makes 4 servings)1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
1 large clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts(from a can of artichoke hearts, packed in water)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
3 tbsp pepper jack cheese, grated(or any other melting cheese, like mozarella)
pinch salt and pepper
Place the grated garlic and spinach in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke on high for 1 minute. Remove and stir. If this has given out any water, drain it.( I didnt have any water left.) Add the chopped artichoke hearts and cook for another 1 minute on high. Now mix in the mayonnaise, parmesan cheese and the pepper jack cheese. Stir it together and nuke at one minute intervals – for 2-3 minutes on high, until it all comes together.(It took me only 2 minutes.) The sign is the oil slightly oozing out, which means you got to stop. Don’t worry, the oil comes from the mayonnaise, but if you overdo it – you will just end up with the mayonnaise curdling and the oil seperating out completely – which is not as good. No need to be worried, as long as you do it in one minute intervals. Remove when done – stir in the salt and pepper, serve hot!
Verdict: Creamy, garlicky, cheesy – with spinach and artichoke – it was perfect when served with the crostini. Not bad for 5 minutes eh! I think this would make a great cheesy sauce for pasta too. Cheesy – did I tell you it was cheesyPin It