When dips are really good, they have a way of becoming the meal’s centerpiece. That certainly happens whenever I make this Spinach, Artichoke and Asiago Dip. No matter what else is at the table or on the buffet, people will park themselves in front of this appetizer and declare they’re happy to nosh on it all night. And Lord knows, I’ve made an entire meal of this on more than one occasion, with the excuse of tweaking the recipe until it’s just right.
There are so many spinach-artichoke dip recipes out there, so what’s different about this one? First, just as in my Creamed Spinach and Artichoke Casserole, this dip utilizes frozen artichoke hearts, which are the closest things to fresh artichoke hearts you’ll ever find. When I served the appetizer on Super Bowl Sunday, I didn’t mention anything about it, but my friend immediately noticed that you can really see and taste the artichokes here. She said that factor alone made it better than other dips she’s tried. So, if you’re an artichoke lover, like I am, you’ve got to ditch those soggy jarred ones and see what you’ve been missing.
Second, the cheese here plays a big part in the taste. There are actually three kinds in the dip — cream cheese, Asiago and Parmesan, with the Asiago lending the strongest flavor. (No, this is not a skinny recipe, but I do use a couple of low-fat ingredients. At least there are lots of veggies, right?)
Third, (and fourth), there’s a nice onion flavor, thanks to the red onions, and some heat, thanks to the red pepper flakes. I’ll never be one to eat food that makes my eyes water, but I’m finding that the older I get, the more I appreciate a little spicy kick in my food. You can adjust the heat to suit your tastes, but I’ve found this level is just enough to be noticeable without turning anyone off.
So, I’m finally ready to share this with you, but I need to hurry up with the photos so that we can dive into this hot, cheesy, veggie goodness. I’m sure you understand.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C)