Sunday, December 9, 2012

Spinach Dip


This recipe is my latest feature for Hinton Voice and appeared in their December 6th, 2012 issue!  :)  

[With the holidays fast approaching, most of us are bound to attend a gathering or two.  Spinach dip is an appetizer that is usually a hit at any event, and it’s one of my personal favorites.  Luckily for me, someone usually brings this dip so I’m set.  Well this year, I vowed to be that someone.

There are SO many variations of this popular recipe, but I chose to use a simple version that focuses on bring out the flavors of the spinach, without overpowering it with too many other ingredients.  No matter the dish, I always like to sautéing the vegetables to help bring the flavors to life, and this recipe is no exception.

I also used my favorite go-to base for hot dips, which consists of cream cheese and mayonnaise.  As long as you have this part taken care of, the next ingredients you add are extremely flexible. For this step, it’s really important to use real mayonnaise and not Miracle Whip.  While the tang of Miracle Whip can be great as a stand-alone sauce, it can be quite overpowering when combined with other ingredients.

One of the best parts about spinach dip is that it tastes great both hot and cold.  For a cold dip hollow out an Italian round bread and use it as an edible bowl.  For a hot dip, spoon dip into your favorite oven proof dish and serve warm with tortilla chips or crusty bread.  Hot or cold, no matter the event, spinach dip is sure to be a star.]

Ingredients
- ½ tsp. olive oil
- ½ small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-10oz package fresh spinach
- 1-8 oz. package cream cheese
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 - 4 oz. can water chestnuts
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Directions 
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large saucepan, set to medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are slightly translucent.  Coarsely chop spinach and add to saucepan in a couple of batches so not to overcrowd.  Stir often until spinach is completely wilted.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Strain as much liquid as possible from the spinach (there will be a lot!).

In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and Greek yogurt – whip with a fork or electric mixer until smooth. Add spinach mixture, grated mozzarella cheese and chopped water chestnuts – stirring until just combined.  Let dip rest in fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to allow the flavors to meld together.

Top with remaining mozzarella and grated Parmesan cheese and bake in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, until dip is hot and bubbling, and the Parmesan cheese has turned golden brown.  Serve immediately.

- Nutritional Info (per 1/4 cup) -

Calories - 145   Fat - 12    Carbs – 4     Protein - 5   Fibre – 1


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