There are a lot of spinach artichoke dip recipes on the Internet, in cookbooks, and on tiny scraps of paper tucked away in scores of cookbooks. I know this because I have tried approximately 2.4 million of them. I adore spinach artichoke dip…I love the flavor, the texture, and the aroma. I like hot spinach artichoke dip on crackers, on sourdough, and in omelets and crepes.
I feel like the guy in Green Eggs and Ham. I will eat it on a train, I will eat it in the rain…I will eat it here or there…
As long as it doesn’t have mayo in it. I just do not like what happens to the texture of the dip when mayo is added and it is baked. No. I. Do. Not.
On New Years Day we were going to have an open house. It fizzled terribly and ended up being my family and one of my two partners in crime, Edye. I figured..hey, that’s o.k..more for us, right? More dip, more champagne, more snacks….and then I found out that Edye can’t drink champagne. Marc doesn’t drink hardly at all (I don’t either but even so he make me look like a lush) and so…I soon found that I had 3 bottles of champagne to drink…all to myself.
I didn’t drink them all. I am a responsible adult, and I hate getting drunk…. but I will admit to pushing the envelope just a little.
Anyway, Edye is the kind of friend you want to taste your recipe experiments because she always has an effervescent and ebullient enthusiasm. So I wanted to make something that would knock her socks off…and knock my socks off, too.
This recipe has a ton of flavor. There is absolutely nothing mild or insipid about it. The texture is creamy, rich and gooey, while the flavor pops with spinach, artichoke, and a smoky flavor. You can use regular Provolone if you need to but smoked gouda would be a better substitution so you can get that smoky flavor.
This makes a great appetizer scooped up on top of a toasted slice of sourdough baguette with maybe some crumbled bacon on top. Keep it snack casual with crackers and chips, or keep it on the healthy side with fresh, raw vegetables. I think you will like the versatility of this.
I specify Philly cream cheese because that is what I use and what I like the best. I wish they did an organic version but they don’t. To my mind the Philly has the best flavor and texture. There are few things I specify and almost never non-organic items but in this case it does make a difference.
And if you happen, just happen to have some left over? Spoon it in your omelet or roll it up in a crepe. Just sayin.
Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip with Smoked Provolone
- 2 cups chopped artichoke hearts
- 8 oz of Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
- 1 lb chopped, fresh organic baby spinach, raw
- 1 cup grated smoked Provolone
- 1/2 cup good Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1/2 cup grated smoke Provolone for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Mix the cream cheese. Parmigiano and the 1 cup smoked Provolone in the bowl.
- Stir in the artichoke hearts and spinach. Mix well.
- Spoon into a small baking dish and bake for 15 minutes.
- Add the 1/2 cup grated smoked Provolone to the top and cook until bubbly and brown.
- Serve hot.
Optional: You can sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup crumbled crispy bacon if you like…. you know..just a little added WOW.
images: marye audet (c) 2011