Sometimes the simplest thing can make your day. Take for example, this question my 9 year old niece posed after tasting this dip at our July 4th barbecue, "Could you tell my mom how to make this?" Could there be any more ringing endorsement than that?!! From the mouth of babes...
There are just so many reasons to love this dip. First off, it's loaded with spinach, artichoke hearts, cheddar cheese and caramelized onions. Next, it's warm, creamy and perfectly tops a crunchy pita chip or cracker. And finally it's incredibly easy to make and can even be prepared up to a day ahead and reheated! It's pretty much dip perfection!!
Jen (that's my sister and mother of my dip-loving niece) you have been "reciped". Be forewarned!!
Spinach, Artichoke and Cheddar Dip
Makes at least 8-10 servings (more if you have other appetizers)
You will need a food processor for this.
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes ( most of this is hands-free while the onion caramelizes)
- 9 ounces fresh spinach (you could also use thawed frozen spinach in a pinch--you don't need to wilt it then, but still need to squeeze out as much water as possible)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large red onion, minced
- 14 ounce can or jar of artichoke hearts, drained
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 6 ounces good Cheddar cheese, freshly grated
1. If using fresh spinach, place it into a large saucepan with it bit of water and turn the heat up high. As the spinach wilts, toss often. Once it's fully wilted transfer to a bowl to cool and dump out excess water from the pan but no need to wash it out. Just dry it and set aside. When spinach is cool enough, take small handfuls and squeeze out as much water from it as you can. You can also place it in a clean towel, roll up and squeeze out the water. Once it's been really drained, set the spinach aside.
2. Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat and when it's hot, add the onion. Stir every now and then for about 10 minutes, until the onion is soft but not browned.
3. Add the onion, spinach, artichoke hearts, salt and pepper to the bowl of a food processor and grind thoroughly. You may need to stop the processor and scrape down the sides so that everything gets finely chopped.
4. Add the mixture back to the pan and stir in the evaporated milk and grated Cheddar. Heat over medium heat, stirring until cheese melts. Transfer to a serving dish and serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, veggies or even bread.
5. You can definitely make this early in the day and reheat it in the pan or the day before, store in the fridge and reheat in a pan or in the microwave.
Note: Recipe adapted from Perfect Plates in 5 Ingredients by John Whaite.