Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Hot Artichoke Dip

I know that I have been posting a lot of artichoke recipes in the last week or so. I apologise, or, I would if I didn't like artichokes so much.
This dip recipe comes from EatingWell magazine, which means that not only is it very tasty, but it is quite healthy. This is a feat indeed, since that majority of artichoke dips are very high in fat. "Spinach Artichoke Dips" seem to be the worst offenders. Despite their healthy sounding name, these dips are usually creamy and cheesy, some having cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise and other kinds of cheese included in the same mix. Sure, they taste great, but I don't think that you should have to limit yourself to a few tablespoons of dip to save enough calories for dinner.
This artichoke dip has plenty of parmesan cheese and a little reduced fat mayonnaise. By thoroughly blending the mixture in the food processor before heating it, you will end up with a very creamy, cheesy and delicious dip - without any of the excess fat of the other dips that rely on huge amounts of soft cheese for their consistency. A bonus is that this recipe is very easy to make. Again, the food processor makes the job easy by eliminating the need for you to do any chopping before hand. Simply toss everything into the bowl of the food processor, turn it on and you have dip! Of course, the dip is best heated even though it is still delicious at room temperature. It can be made several days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Hot Artichoke Dip
2 15-ounce cans artichoke hearts (packed in water), drained
2 cloves garlic
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt, to taste
1/8-1/4 tsp cayanne pepper
black pepper, to taste

In a food processor, pulse artichoke hearts and garlic to chop. Add all remaining ingredients and whizz until smooth. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
Heat in the microwave or in a 400F oven for 10 minutes.
Makes about 2 2/3 cups