Have you been invited to Thanksgiving or just to a gathering of friends and asked to bring an appetizer? Are you completely blank on what to make? I feel your pain. Appetizers are not something that I make often, I enjoy ordering them in restaurants, but when it comes to making them in my own home, I typically move right on to the main meal, skipping appetizers all together.
A few years ago, I was asked to bring an appetizer to Thanksgiving and had no clue what to make. I needed to feed a lot of people and I wanted something that wasn’t very complicated. I came upon a recipe for spinach artichoke dip and immediately knew I needed to make it. Everyone loved it and it became one of my go-to appetizer recipes.
I made some last week to take to a party and was able to make most of it the night before and finish it off when we arrived at the party. It’s a perfect take-along dish!
Start the recipe by thawing your spinach and wringing it out between paper towels. Then chop up the onions and drain and chop the canned artichoke hearts. Mince the garlic and grate the lemon peel.
Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat and then add the onion and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Add in the thyme and lemon peel and stir. Add the flour and whisk well and cook for 1 minute.
Add the chicken stock, whisking the whole time and salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high whisking often and cook until it gets thick 8-10 minutes.
Stir in the artichokes and spinach and half of each of the cheeses.
Transfer the mixture to a casserole.
At this point, I put my dip in the refrigerator overnight. When you are ready to re-heat the dish, put it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until its heated through.
Sprinkle the top of the dip with the rest of both cheeses and put under the broiler for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and begins to brown.
Serve with French bread slices, Melba toasts, crackers or corn chips.
Here’s the recipe:
- Two 10-ounce boxes chopped frozen spinach
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Half of a small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- One 13.75-ounce can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella
- 1 loaf whole grain baguette, cut into bite-size cubes
- In a microwaveable bowl, defrost the spinach in the microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the spinach in a kitchen towel and wring dry. Tear the spinach into small pieces and set aside.
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and lemon peel. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and cook, whisking often, until thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the spinach, artichokes and half each of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the mozzarella. Transfer the mixture to a casserole.
- Refrigerate overnight if making ahead. Re-heat dish at 350 degrees for 10 minutes until heated through, when ready to serve.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Preheat the broiler. Broil the dip until bubbly and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Serve with the bread cubes.