Monday, March 7, 2011

Roasted Artichoke Dip


I've had a lot of artichoke dip.  I've made it a few times, sometimes with spinach, but none has come close to this artichoke dip.  The first thing that's different is that I took Cook's Illustrated's advice to use frozen artichokes rather than canned; they suggest that they maintain the flavor of real artichokes better this way.  The next thing is that the first step is to roast the artichokes; anything that's roasted is automatically so much tastier and, I dare say, more complex.

I made this for a baby shower, and was very surprised it didn't move more than it did; about half the 8x8 pan was eaten by about 20 women.  Surprised, but also a little bit ecstatic because...more leftovers for me!  On that note, the leftovers are delicious!

So, the next time you're thinking of making a dip, definitely consider this one.  I assure you, it will be the best artichoke dip you've ever tasted.

Roasted Artichoke Dip
The Best Make-Ahead Recipe, From The Editors of Cook's Illustrated

2 slices high quality white sandwich bread, quartered (I used whole grain white)
2T grated Parmesan cheese
1T unsalted butter, melted

2 (9oz) packages frozen artichokes
2T olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1c mayo
4oz cream cheese, at room temp
1oz Parmesan cheese, grated (omitted)
2T juice from 1 lemon
1T minced fresh thyme leaves (I used dried)
Pinch cayenne pepper

1.  Make the topping by food processing the bread using the pulse setting.  Mix bread crumbs with butter and Parmesan cheese.
2.  Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Combine artichokes with 1T oil, 1/2t salt, and 1/4t pepper, and spread on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Roast in the oven, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.  Let cool then chop.
3.  Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a medium skillet until shimmering.  Cook the oven until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
4.  Add the remaining ingredients to the onion mixture and stir until uniform, making sure all the lumps of cream cheese are spread out.  Gently stir in the artichokes and season to taste.  Transfer to an 8x8 baking dish and smooth.  Top with bread crumbs.
5.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

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