Finally! the Perfect Spinach & Artichoke Dip … with Chardonnay Mushrooms
There are some recipes that just come to you in a sudden flash and the first time you make them they are absolutely fantabulous the very first time you make them.
There are others that take a lot of work, several iterations, sometimes months or even years to perfect. Your tasters get tired of tasting and you get tired of trying to find ways to reuse the “failures”. My Philly Cheesesteak French Dip recipe was one of those. I don’t know how many pounds of meat I went through before I got that one right! Each version was certainly edible, but not quite up to the flavor-filled goodness I wanted.
This dip recipe was another one of THOSE. I know there are plenty of spinach artichoke dips out there–and yes, I had one that I REALLY liked, but still it was laden with fat from all the cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. ( I tried some of the “light” versions and they just didn’t have the right creamy cheese-ilicious taste.) In fact, the health experts tell you that Spinach Artichoke Dip is one of the foods to AVOID at holiday parties because it’s one of the most fattening (and misleading!) appetizers that people serve at parties.
You don’t have to avoid this one. I admit, it still does have fat from the cheese, but I used small amounts of good strong flavorful cheeses, so you get the cheesey taste without as much fat. And I added some cannellini beans–they add creaminess, protein, fiber, and flavor. I skipped the sour cream and used fat free greek yogurt instead. Oh, and I included the Chardonnay Mushrooms. They were just begging to join in the party.
And yes, they fit right in.
The Perfect Spinach Artichoke Dip (with Chardonnay Mushrooms)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 of a medium-sized onion
- 1/3 c. Chardonnay mushrooms (recipe is here)
- 1/2 of a 15-oz. can of canellini beans, drained (reserve the juice in case you need it for blending)
- 1 c. cooked spinach (roughly … you can add more if you like!)
- 3 oz. light cream cheese, softened
- 6 oz. fat-free greek yogurt
- 1/2 of a 15-oz. container of artichokes, chopped with a knife into small pieces
- 1 T. loose blue cheese crumbles
- 1/4 c. freshly shredded asiago cheese
- 1/4 c. freshly shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 – 2 oz. goat cheese crumbles
- 1/4 c. light mayonnaise
- A bit of part-skim mozzarella cheese and a few chopped cherry tomatoes
- Toss the garlic, onion, and mushrooms in your handi chopper or food processor and process till they are just little pieces. Take them out and put them in the mixing bowl where you’ll be whooshing together your dip.
- Next take your spinach, put it in the processor to chop it up fine, then blot out the extra moisture with a clean towel. Add it to the bowl
- Now take the cannellini beans and process them in your food processor until they are a smooth soft paste. Add some liquid from the can if you need to. Pour the beans in your handy dandy mixing bowl.
- Now add all the other ingredients and mix them up with a spoon in the bowl until everything is nicely mixed.
- Pour your dip into a baking dish or casserole, top with a bit of shredded cheese and tomatoes to make it look pretty, then bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until it’s all hot and bubbly.
- Serve with bread, toasted tortillas, bagel chips, or vegies for dipping. Ordinary tortilla chips are not quite strong enough to stand up to this dish.
Another pretty way to serve this dip is in a bread bowl. Heat the dip, then pour into a hollowed out bread bowl with the chunks of bread for dipping. When I serve it this way, the entire thing usually gets eaten up, bowl and all!
The Realistic Nutritionist reminded me this morning that this dip also makes a great pizza!
This dip is totally addicting! If you bring it to a party, all your friends will totally love you … even more than they already do. Yes, really. Just make sure if you’re going to kiss any of them that they eat the dip too.
This is part of my series of 31 Days of Warmer Connections. Every day in October, I am blogging about connections through food.