Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16: National Artichoke Hearts Day

Ah, artichokes.  Personally, I don't care to eat artichokes - I think they're too much trouble for so little food- but I like eating artichoke hearts.  (Probably because those come ready-to-eat.)  Normally, I'll toss chopped artichoke hearts into a quick pasta salad or stir them into a salad of garbanzo beans, tomatoes, and wilted spinach.  I've also had them in a really good artichoke cheese dip that my former supervisor always made.  However, this time I opted to try a new recipe.  Once again I dug out the American Heart Association's No-Fad Diet cookbook and on page 140 found a recipe for Artichoke and Spinach Dip.  (Apparently, it was featured on Good Morning America which is why it's available online.)
The dip was perfect for carrots.

It's a very, very simple recipe.  Some of the ingredients require a quick rinse and drain, but then you just toss everything in a food processor and process until smooth.  I didn't have any garlic so I used some powdered garlic and I used Greek yogurt.  It came out very green and had a bit of a tang, likely due to the fact that I used Greek yogurt.  It's tasty, very simple, and a perfect recipe for when you have a party and need a dip for chips or vegetables.  It makes a large amount - I've got some saved for the next few days, and some more in the freezer.

Now, back to that cheesy artichoke dip my former supervisor always made that I love.  I have that recipe right here for you!  She got it from a friend's friend who got it from someone else who got it from their mom.... you get the picture.  It's a very popular dip.  I only chose not to make it because I would've had to buy a lot of ingredients.  It's also a very easy recipe, but this one requires baking.  It doesn't pair well with vegetable sticks, only because it's best served warm.

Cheesy Artichoke Dip
8-oz. Can of unmarinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
8 oz. Cream cheese, softened
1  C. mayonnaise
2 C. shredded parmesan + extra for top
1/2 tsp. Dillweed
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together.   Put in any type oven safe baking dish.
Sprinkle extra shredded parmesan cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
Serve with crackers, tortilla chips, or bread.

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