When my family gathers for dinner, we often nibble on so much cheese and other appetizers that we sometimes don’t have much room for the main course. But the Thanksgiving feast requires ample room, with the many offerings that accompany the turkey. So in planning my creative contribution to the meal, I wanted to come up with a light dip that would in fact stimulate rather than ruin the appetite.
Here’s the recipe for the resulting Lite Spinach Artichoke Dip:
1 head of roasted garlic, with roasted garlic squeezed out and set aside
1 shallot, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
5 cups baby spinach
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts
3 tbsp pecorino romano cheese
6 kalamata olives
2 tbsp fresh parsley
½ tsp zataar (middle eastern spice blend)
½ tsp dry tarragon
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of cayenne
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
2 cups plain low fat yogurt
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium pan. Add the shallot, sauté over medium heat until beginning to soften, approx. 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper, and sauté until quite soft, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. Stir in spinach and heat until wilted.
Place the sautéed vegetables in a food processor along with the roasted garlic and remaining olive oil. Puree. Add the yogurt and puree again. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until all ingredients are well blended together. Try a bite, and adjust seasonings to taste.
Chill prior to serving. Serve with tortilla chips, pita bread or crackers.
Note this recipe is lighter in consistency (and healthier) than some other dips—what I was striving for in light of the hearty main course. It could be thickened more with some low-fat cream cheese or perhaps some silken tofu.