One Day Some Years Ago Artichoke Dip

One day, some years ago, artichoke dip became the popular kid in the party aisle at the grocery store. I’m not sure how this happened or why, but I do know that artichokes are delicious and that people will thank you for bringing this twist on the now-classic dip to a party. Plus, as we discussed last week, you’ve probably got lots of holiday parties to go to, and sometimes when you are invited to a party, you are also asked to bring some sort of food to share. This is in fact the perfect holiday party dip because it is so simple and easy to prepare. I like to pair this dip with spicy pita chips because the hint of chilli powder really works well with the creamy, salty, savoury goodness of this dip.

If you have no need to take a delicious dip to a holiday party, I can assure you that I tested it out, and this dip tastes equally good while watching The Expendables 2 on a rainy early December Sunday.

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Roasted Garlic Artichoke Dip

-½ cup good quality mayonnaise (just buy real, ordinary Hellman’s and forget about all that mayonnaise that tries to pretend to be good for you)

-½ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

-1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped

-1 head roasted garlic, roughly chopped (see tip below)

-1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

-¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan

-½ Tbsp minced fresh parsley

-½ tsp coarse salt

-Generous pinch cayenne pepper

-Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Mix all ingredients together in medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour to allow flavours to develop. Season with extra salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional fresh parsley, serve with pita chips.

Spicy Pita Chips

-1.5 Tbsp olive oil

-1/8 tsp chili powder

-Pinch of coarse salt

-4 pita breads, cut into triangles

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oil, chili powder and salt together in the bottom of a large bowl. Add pita triangles and toss until the pita is evenly coated with oil mixture. Transfer pita to a baking sheet, spread into even layer. Bake pita for 6 – 8 minutes, stirring once during baking, until crisp but not burnt (you know, a chip-like texture).

Note: I also like to mix things up and make these pita chips with different herbs and spices. Try garlic powder, an Italian herb blend, a bit of cumin and coriander or even a touch of good curry powder. We eat these chips with hummus, Mexican-spiced quinoa salad, as a side for soup,  and for any and all occasions.

Roasted Garlic

-1 head garlic – I used Canadian heirloom garlic because you really can taste the difference

-Olive oil

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice off top of garlic head so that the tips of the cloves are showing. Drizzle with olive oil, then wrap in foil. Bake on a baking sheet 30 – 40 minutes until the garlic is very soft. Let sit until cool enough to handle, then squeeze roasted cloves out and discard the peel.

Note: Roasted garlic is delicious in this dip, but can be used for almost anything your heart desires. Spread roasted garlic onto a pizza crust for a delicious pizza base. Use as a topping for burgers or grilled cheese. Smear onto crostini for a simple appetizer. Just eat it any way you can think of.