Right about this time of year I start craving fresh stuff from the garden; lettuce, basil, fresh mint for my tea. Being able to walk out my back door, across the soft grass, and pick these things at the ready is something I cherish every Summer, knowing that the convenience is fleeting. In Northern Minnesota we only have about four months (let's be honest) to enjoy this pleasure, but I do my best to freeze or preserve anything and everything I can to savor through the long, cold Winter.
Spring sprang the other day. The temperature was above freezing, the hardier of our bunch could go outside without a giant insulated parka, and hope was in the air.
Then the next day we got 6 inches of snow. And so it goes.
Digging through the pantry this weekend I found some canned artichokes, and in the freezer, spinach. Needing to take a break from dilly beans and frozen sugar snap peas for a while, I decided it was time to whip up some hot spinach artichoke dip and enjoy perhaps one last Winter comfort food before I break out the salad spinner.
I served this with sweet potato chips, so it's healthy, right? I know, not really, but it was worth every calorie.
Spinach Artichoke Dip (CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE RECIPE)
1 8 oz. package regular cream cheese, softened
2 cans artichoke hearts in water, drained, and water squeezed out
1 box frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
1 cup Provolone or other cheese of your choice, grated (save about 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top before baking)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
pinch of ground Ancho Chili pepper, or more if you like things spicy
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop up the artichokes and spinach and put in a medium bowl. Add the cream cheese and shredded cheese. Add pepper, garlic salt, onion powder, cumin, and Ancho Chili pepper. Mix everything together with a hand mixer, or if you don't have one, work it with a wooden spoon until blended together well. Spread into a 9" x 1"3 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese and Parmesan evenly over the top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and dip starts to bubble slightly around the edges. Remove to a cooling rack. Serve with potato chips, sweet potato chips, or fresh cut veggie sticks.