Grow Your Own: Warm Artichoke Dip

grow_your_own_logo-2009Geeze, how did another week go by already? I guess that’s what happens when you’re working long hours. It’s all good, though.

So, last weekend we had Bill and Barbara over for dinner before we all went to see “The House of Blue Leaves” at the Little Theater of Norfolk. I made roasted duck breast with cherry chutney (from the new President’s Inaugural Luncheon menu) and roasted vegetables, along with twice-baked potatoes. For an appetizer before dinner, I made Warm Artichoke Dip with Scallions and Jalapeño, from the “Great Party Dipscookbook I won a couple of weeks ago, from Andrea’s Recipes. Thanks again, Andrea :-)

We all enjoyed the dip, although I must say, I think combining this recipe with the Ya Ya Sisterhood artichoke dip recipe I made last year would yield even more tasty results. The jalapeño added a nice kick we really liked.

Unfortunately, we didn’t like the play quite so much. It was really strange; at intermission, I said I wouldn’t be unhappy if we left, but the others wanted to stay and see if it got better. It didn’t, and it had a really weird ending. It was billed as a farce, but according to Wikipedia, it’s a black comedy. Well, that makes more sense. Not recommended.

OTOH, if you like artichoke dip, try this one. As I said, it’s not my favorite rendition of this classic, but it might suit your taste buds better.

artichoke-dip-jalapeno

Warm Artichoke Dip with Scallions and Jalapeño

2 scallions, coarsely chopped (I used green onions from the garden)
1 1/2 tsp. pickled jalapeño, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, cut into 2-3 pieces
Dash of salt
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature, cut into several pieces
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained

Preheat the oven to 400*. In a food processor, combine the scallions, jalapeno, garlic and salt. Pulse until the scallions are finely chopped.

Add the cream cheese, all but 1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice and cayenne. Puree until smooth. Add the artichokes and pulse until coarsely chopped.

Scrape the mixture into a 2-cup gratin or other shallow ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved Parmesan cheese over the top. (At this point, thd dip can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before baking.)

Shortly before serving, bake for about 20 minutes, until the dip is slightly browned on top and bubbly hot. Let cool slightly before serving.

I served this with toasted baguette slices. Crisp raw veggies, baked pita chips or crackers would also make good dippers.

This is my entry in “Grow Your Own,” the twice-monthly food blogging event that celebrates growing our own food. It was started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes.

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