Friday, November 7, 2008

Starter: Jeanne's Famous Artichoke Spinach Dip

I should preface this by saying that I have no idea who Jeanne is. But she submitted a great recipe to Gourmet back in 1995 which subsequently made it onto the web site (though it disappeared off the site a couple of years later, strangely) and, ever since, it has been my favorite recipe for this ubiquitous party appetizer.

This version is perfect in that it's simple, quick to prepare, and most importantly, crazy tasty. We've served it at many a Mingleside Christmas Party and it's always been a big hit. If you have any servewear that stays hot long after it's been out of the oven (such as Wilton Armetale), I'd recommend baking it in that, as the dip becomes much less appetizing when it gets cold. I like to serve it with tortilla chips, but I suppose any sort of crackers would be lovely. And to Jeanne, wherever you are, thanks so much for sharing this great recipe with the world oh so long ago. You are definitely famous in my eyes!

1 13 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped finely
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and chopped finely
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 1/4 cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 9 ounces)
1 Tb freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Tortilla chips or crackers for dipping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine artichoke hearts, spinach, mayo, Parmesan, 1 3/4 cups Monterey Jack cheese and Pecorino Romano, stirring until combined well. Transfer artichoke mixture to 1 quart baking dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese. Dip may be made up to this point, covered, and chilled for one day.

Bake dip in middle of oven until cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Serve with chips or crackers. Makes about 3 cups.

Source: Gourmet, May 1995, Jeanne Manzi of Dix Hills, N.Y.

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