My favorite part of the Superbowl is the food. I won’t even pretend that I’m a huge football fan. In fact, I think it’s kind of unfair that there’s no massive nation-wide event that appeals to women. I know that there are women who honestly enjoy football (not just because they want to impress a guy) but just a glimpse at the Superbowl commercials and you know which sex its geared to.
Anyways. This dip is to die for. It’s seriously better than any spinach-artichoke dip I’ve had at a restaurant, and it’s lighter too. Make it for the Superbowl or the next time you have friends or family over. Or, like me, make it just because it sounds wonderful.
Taste: Flavorful and fresh yet rich and cheesy.
Texture: Thick, creamy, with melted cheesy everywhere.
Ease: Easy enough that you can’t really get this wrong. Plus you can make the dip up to a day ahead of time before baking.
Appearance: Bubbling cheese is bound to make anyone’s mouth water.
Pros: Perfect appetizer.
Would I make this again? Yes.
How to make Hot & Light Spinach-Artichoke Dip
Yield: 12 servings
1 10-ounce bag fresh baby spinach
1 cup packed fresh basil
3/4 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
6 ounces Neufchatel (1/3-less-fat) cream cheese
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, squeezed dry and finely chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
Pinch of cayenne
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Chips, for serving
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and prepare a bowl of ice water. Stir the spinach and basil into the boiling water and cook until bright green, about 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately shock in ice water. Drain and squeeze dry, then roughly drop.
In the bowl of a food processor, puree the beans, cream cheese, garlic, and chicken broth until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and fold in the spinach and basil, artichokes, parmesan, and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Add the cayenne, Worcestershire, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste.
Spray a large baking dish with nonstick spray and spread in dip mixture. Top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella (at this point you can refrigerate the dip for up to 1 day, let come down to room temperature before baking or bake 5-10 minutes longer). Bake until golden and bubbly, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with chips.
From Food Network Magazine November 2009
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