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Cut mayo, mozzarella, sour cream toto taste artichoke in classic dip

By L.V. Anderson
Slate

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  • Spinach-Artichoke Dip

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened

    1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

    Juice of 2 lemons

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

    Salt and black pepper

    1 pound frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and roughly chopped

    10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

    HEAT the oven to 450 degrees. Put the cream cheese, Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper, and stir to combine.

    STIR in the artichoke hearts and spinach. Transfer to an 8- or 9-inch square pan or a gratin dish and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

    Yield: 12 to 16 servings



Adding fat is a tried-and-true method for making things taste better. Pasta sauce too wan? Stir in some heavy cream. Watermelon too sweet? Crumble a little feta on top.

Nine times out of 10, this works like a charm.

The 10th time, it makes a dish nauseatingly heavy. Such is the case with many recipes for spinach-artichoke dip.

Many artichoke dip recipes call for Parmesan, mozzarella, cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise, a quintet that coagulates into a pool of glop slicked with a layer of grease.

It is possible to make spinach-artichoke dip that is rich but not overwhelming – an artichoke dip that tastes like artichokes, enhanced. The key is to figure out which fats you need and which you don’t. Skip the mayonnaise, mozzarella and sour cream, and you can focus on things that add flavor.

An artichoke dip made with cream cheese, Parmesan, olive oil, and lemon juice isn’t healthy, exactly, but it is more elegant and flavorful.

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