Although it took me until college to try it, Spinach and Artichoke Dip is one of my favorite appetizers to get in restaurants. CPK has a really good one, TGI Friday's sucks (we don't even go there anymore,) and Red Robin's is by far the best. So when I opened up my new cookbook by Ellie Krieger, I was not surprised to see Spinach and Artichoke Dip simply because, well, the title of the book does say The Food you Crave.
When I told Brett that I wanted to make it, he looked at me warily because he suspected, and so did I, that it would not meet our high standards and thus was destined to disappoint. However, he did agree that we should try it. I was excited because the point of the cookbook is to make healthy versions of foods that otherwise are usually not very healthy. This excited me because I like to try and cook healthy, but at the same time it made me worry because healthy things usually sacrifice flavor.
Most of the recipe is made by combining everything in a food processor, so I got out my mini (another reason to get excited) and got to work. The artichoke hearts alone did not all fit in the mini food processor, so I immediately knew that this was going to take much longer than I intended. So instead of combining everything in the food processor like the recipe said, I pureed the artichokes and spinach separately and then combined them by hand with sauteed onion and garlic, reduced fat sour cream, mayo, Neufchatel cheese (which I guess is lower in fat than cream cheese but tastes pretty much the same), grated mozzarella, salt and pepper and then pureed it some more in (very small) batches. This did take a while, but it came out beautifully smooth.
When it was done baking, the moment of truth had arrived. I eagerly got a giant scoop. It was delicious! Not the same as Red Robin's cheesy oooey goooey deliciousness, but delicious in it's own way, and certainly more healthy. Brett liked it too, although not as enthusiastically as me. We almost ate the entire dish, but I was about to burst at the seams and had to stop. I know what I'm having for lunch today!
I always think it bodes well for a cookbook when the first recipe I try from it is a huge success so I can't wait to try more!