Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

The first time I ever made spinach artichoke dip was at Wind River Brewing Co. in Pinedale, Wyo. It was part of the new owners’ menu improvements. To be honest, before I made it, I had never even tried the popular party staple. But, as soon as I did, I loved it. Of course, making it in a restaurant environment, you must make it in a huge batch. Thus, I ended up using frozen spinach that had been pre-chopped and thawed … not necessarily my cup of tea since I love using fresh ingredients. So, for this, I used fresh baby spinach and it turned out to be extremely good. Tearing it up and removing the stems may be a bit more tedious, but, trust me, it’s definitely worth it.

1 - 10-oz bag fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 - 8-oz. container sour cream
1 - 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup grated parmesan and romano cheese, divided

Tear spinach into bite-size pieces and remove stems. In a large frying pan, cook spinach with garlic in olive oil until spinach is wilted, but still bright green (about 3 minutes). Add cream cheese and sour cream, mixing well. Remove from heat. Stir in artichoke hearts and red pepper flakes. Add 1/4 cup of the parmesan and romano cheese and the lemon juice. Mix well and spread into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese. Set pan on the center shelf of the oven set to broil. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly with lightly browned edges. This will not take very long (about 5 minutes), so watch closely. Remove from oven. Serve hot with chips, veggies or bread.


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