Perfect your spinach dip game now and you’ll be laughing when the holidays roll around (in less than 6 months btw!) and you have a go-to classic to tote around to all of those parties with you. Plus nothing soaks up those fizzy holiday bevvies like something creamy and cheesy. Homemade dip never even compares to something store-bought and this version of a classic strikes a lovely balance between being rich and refreshing, especially if paired with crunchy cucumber spears or crisp jicama sticks. In contrast to the sinfully decadent cheese bomb that constitutes my kale-artichoke dip, this recipe produces a lighter appetizer that won’t leave you with the dairy-sweats afterwards. Pair it with grainy crackers - the kind that taste suspiciously like cardboard when eaten alone but somehow transform into being both edible AND appealing when used for scooping dip - and some colourful veggies.
BA’s Best: Spinach Artichoke Dip
Taken directly from BA’s Best arsenal
1 large bunch spinach, thick bottom stems cut and discarded
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely grated with a microplane
4 oz full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature (this is usually half of a standard-sized cream cheese “brick”)
½ cup full-fat sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
1-400 ml can of chopped artichokes, preferably packed in water (or 10 oz frozen artichokes, thawed and chopped)
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
Crackers/chips/toasted baguette slices/veggies (to serve)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Set a large bowl of ice water in the sink. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for about 30 seconds, just until wilted. Transfer the spinach to the ice bath to cool. Drain the spinach by squeezing out as much liquid with your hands as possible. Transfer the spinach to a large clean kitchen towel (preferably not a light coloured one for staining reasons) and wring out any residual liquid. You want the spinach to be as dry as possible to avoid having runny, watery dip. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and chop coarsely.
Heat the vegetable oil in a medium pan set over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft but not brown (about 3 minutes). Stir in the grated garlic and cook for another minute. Add the spinach and continue cooking for another couple of minutes, until the pan looks dry. Season the spinach lightly with salt and pepper. Let cool.
In a food processor, pulse the cream cheese, sour cream, and mayo until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer to a medium bowl. Alternatively, you can beat the cream cheese by hand in a medium bowl until smooth and soft, then gradually beat in the sour cream and mayo. Fold in the chopped artichokes, the spinach mixture, and the parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Scrape the dip into a shallow baking dish (or a couple smaller dishes – I like to only bake as much as I’m going to serve and then refrigerate the rest to heat and serve later). Bake the dip for 20-25 minutes, until golden on top. Broil for a few minutes at the end of the time if the top is not yet browned and bubbling. Let the dip cool oh-so-slightly and serve with lots of crunchy things.