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23 July 2006

Light and Creamy Hot Artichoke Dip (Cooks Illustrated)

Light and Creamy Hot Artichoke Dip
12/2005



Makes 4 cups serving 12

Topping
1 slice hearty white sandwich bread
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Creamy Base
2 (9-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 medium onion , chopped fine
2 cloves garlic , minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 cup light cream cheese , at room temperature
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Table salt and ground black pepper


1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray.

2. For the topping: Process bread and cheese in food processor until finely ground, about 15 seconds.

3. For the base: Toss frozen artichoke hearts (do not thaw) with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, salt, and pepper on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast in 450-degree oven until browned around edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, then chop coarse.

4. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add artichokes and cook until beginning to brown and liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

5. Pulse cream cheese, cheddar, sour cream, Parmesan, lemon juice, parsley, and cayenne with prepared artichoke mixture until coarsely chopped, about ten 1-second pulses. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape mixture into prepared dish. (Dip can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring back to room temperature before baking.)

6. Sprinkle topping over dip and lightly spray crumbs with cooking spray. Bake until browned and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve.