Saturday, August 13, 2011

Artichoke Dip with Crostini

I love artichokes, and I really really love hot artichoke dip. I have made so many versions of artichoke dip - with spinach, garlic, onion, you name it. And I love them all, but this recipe is my "go to" recipe that I have been making for years. Is unique and full of flavor. What makes this recipe different from most is the addition of shallots, lemon and fresh oregano. It tastes sweet and fresh and savory, all at the same time. Serve this dip with tortilla chips, pita chips, bagel chips or these crostini, made from a baguette. Crostini means "little toasts" in Italian, and they go well with this dip. I'll show you have to make crostini too, so let's get cooking!
Hot Artichoke Dip
recipe adapted from Delicious Dips by Diane Morgan
Ingredients:
1 large shallot
1 clove garlic
2 cans (13.75 ounces each) artichoke hearts packed in water, well-drained
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 sprig fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Finely dice the shallot and put in a mixing bowl.
Add one clove of garlic minced to the bowl.
Drain the artichoke hearts very well, lightly squeezing them to release any excess water. Place on a large cutting board.
Chop the artichoke hearts into coarse OR fine pieces. I go for somewhere in the middle, but you can decide how you like your dip. Some people like big chunks of artichokes and some like it very smooth. Add the chopped artichokes to the bowl.
Squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon into the bowl, about a tablespoon.
Add 1/2 cup of sour cream to the bowl. You can use reduced fat sour cream if you would like.
Add 1/2 cup of real mayonnaise to the bowl. I have made this with reduced fat mayo and the consistency was thinner and it didn't come out as good, so don't use reduced fat mayo.
Finely grate about 1 cup of parmesan cheese. Please splurge for a wedge off fresh parmesan and grate it yourself. The difference is amazing. I really love parmesan cheese so I use a generous 1 cup portion of this recipe. Add the parmesan cheese to the bowl.
If you have fresh oregano, use it. Remove from stem and finely chop. Add to bowl. If you don't have fresh, you can substitute dried oregano.
Add a pinch of salt (not too much because you have the saltiness from the cheese too) and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well, until all the ingredients are combined.
Butter a baking dish. Here is a tip for buttering dishes or pans - place your hand inside a plastic sandwich bag and spread a small pat of butter over your dish. This way your get your dish buttered well without getting your hands messy.
Add the dip to the butter dish and bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and bubbling and the dip is warmed throughout.
Serve hot with crostini (see below).

Perfect Crostini
1 long French baguette
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, whole (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice your baguette on a diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place on a baking sheet.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush both sides of each little bread with olive oil.
Bake for about 6 minutes on each side, until lightly brown. The toasts should be crunchy, but not brittle.
For garlic flavored crostini, rub each little toast (when it is hot out of the oven ) with a whole clove of garlic. I find it is easiest to do this using a little fork to hold the garlic. The heat from the toasts will release the garlic flavors.
This is a perfect appetizer to make for any kind of party, and time of year. Everyone loves artichoke dip!The combination of flavors in this dip are amazing. Can you see those shallots and specks of oregano? Hmmmmm, so good.
Delicious. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. YUM! Artichoke dip is my move favorite appetizer. We have a family recipe that we've always used, but it has cream cheese in it. I love that your recipe doubles the amount of artichokes I usually put in and I haven't tried the shallot or grating my own parmesan. All great ideas that I'm excited to try. The crostini is also something I haven't done. This looks amaaaaaazing.

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