My daughter, Katie, used to work in the deli department of a large grocery store in our area. The deli chefs often developed new recipes for items that they wanted to test market for the store, especially around the Holidays. One day Katie came home raving about a dip that she got to make every day. “It’s sooo good! I wish we could make it at home.” When I questioned her about the recipe, the first thing she said was, “Mom, are you kidding me? We can’t do that! It’s like 15 pounds of cream cheese. Do you know how much that makes?”
I had to laugh. “We can cut it down. Just tell me the ingredients and the quantities that you use. I’ll do the math.” Judging from the look that she gave me and the tone of voice that she used (the ‘yeah, right’ kind of voice), I’m pretty sure that she doubted my capabilities. Never underestimate your mother.
So, I scaled down the recipe and Katie whipped up the dip. Winner! We nailed it.
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 pound frozen spinach, thawed and drained (press a little water from spinach, but do not make it too dry)
- 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped chunky
- 1 clove garlic, toasted (see below)
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno peppers (canned is fine)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Mix cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise until well blended.
- In blender, pulse-blend spinach, artichoke hearts, and toasted garlic. Do not blend too fine. Add to cream cheese mixture and mix well.
- Fold jalapeno peppers, lemon juice, and parmesan into above mixture.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Chill for several hours to blend flavors. Serve with vegetables, crackers, or a variety of breads torn or cut into bite-sized chunks.
To toast garlic: Chop the garlic. Over medium heat, cook garlic in a little olive oil, stirring frequently. Cook until lightly golden. Do not overcook because the garlic will be bitter. The picture below shows the perfect color for toasted garlic. You will not believe how deliciously garlicky your house will smell. When I walked in to my house after my daughter toasted the garlic for the dip, I just stood inside the doorway inhaling the amazing aroma. Heaven.
Be sure to let this dip chill for several hours so that the flavors become infused throughout the dip. We often eat this dip with artisan breads such as sourdough or a crusty Italian or French bread cut into cubes.