Spinach Artichoke Dip

03bArtichokeDipBakedbfLOWe were having a party, and Rich had a taste for artichoke dip. I used to have this recipe for a nice baked ‘choke dip with pastrami or some other deli meat, but that is long gone into a hidden cubby hole or stashed in a book somewhere, so I went back to da Google and found the framework for this fine little munchie, which uses roasted red pepper in place of meat. The original recipe also called for tucking bits of the dip into won ton wrappers, but that was getting too fussy for me – and kind of got in the way of my goal for a gluten-free appetizer.

•1 (14 oz.) can artichoke heart quarters, drained and roughly chopped
•1 cup shredded mozzarella
•1 (10 oz.) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
•1/3 cup  mayonnaise
•1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
•1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1 tbsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp fresh lemon juice

01ChokesSpinachCheesePeppersMixbfLONote: a lot of ‘choke dip recipes call for tossing everything into a slow cooker, warming it up, and then letting it just set. I opted to use a couple of 6-1/4 inch ceramic Spanish baking dishes and splitting the recipe in two, which allowed me to set out one at the beginning of our gathering, then baking and setting out a fresh batch as needed. Much more better.

Heat the oven to 350°.

HolidayPartSpreadbfLOStir all of the ingredients together in a mixing bowl, then turn into one good-sized baking dish, OR, as I did, into two, smaller ones (mine are Tapas casseroles, designed for use as small plates).

Pop the dip into the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cheese is nicely melted and the edges are getting just a bit crispity.

03aArtichokeDipBakedbfLOIf you’ve split your dip into two, cover the backup and stash it int the fridge until needed. This worked out quite well, as I had put out so much food that the one container was perfect for our party, and there was a fresh batch all set to be roasted and served up with pita bread and corn chips the next day when Rich still had a taste for a bit of artichoke dip.

I like it when a plan comes together.

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