Most recipes for spinach artichoke dip require a particular step that has always put me off: thawing frozen spinach and squeezing it dry. The bits of wet, defrosted spinach tend to stick on everything, and it’s hard to get enough liquid out.
Then I discovered that using fresh spinach is actually easier, because the liquid cooks off when you saute it! Suddenly a ho-hum dish turned into one I actually enjoy making. Plus it’s so delicious, people inevitably keep coming back for more.
Adapted from The New York Times‘ Spinach Artichoke Dip.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, chopped (white and light green portion only)
1 clove garlic, minced
12 oz fresh spinach, chopped
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts (I prefer bottoms), drained, patted dry and chopped
8 oz cream cheese, cut into small pieces
4 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into small pieces
4 oz sour cream
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
pinch red pepper flakes
In a large skillet over medium heat, saute the leek in oil until softened and starting to brown slightly. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute more.
Add spinach a little at a time, allowing it to wilt in the pan before adding more. Saute until the spinach is cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add artichokes and cook for a few minutes more.
Turn the heat down to low, then add cream cheese and mozzarella and stir until melted. Add sour cream, Parmesan and red pepper flakes and stir until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a shallow 1-quart dish and serve hot. You can also refrigerate overnight; reheat in a 375-degree oven until the dip is hot throughout and bubbly on the edges.
Pictured: Corning Ware Merry Mushroom B-1-B Round, Pyrex Verde 444 Cinderella Mixing Bowl