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This recipe for HOT ARTICHOKE AND SPINACH DIP APPETIZER, by , is from Debby In The Kitchen, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Debby Scott
Added: Monday, September 3, 2007


1 c. or 1-14 oz. can artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 c. spinach, drained and chopped
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. grated Romano cheese
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 T. fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt 

dash black pepper
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese

Allow cream cheese to come to room temp. Cream together the cream cheese, mayonnaise and mix well with the Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, garlic, red pepper, basil, salt and pepper. Add the artichoke hearts and spinach, mix until blended, Store in a container until you are ready to use. Spray pan with cooking spray, pour in dip, and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350˚ for 25 minutes or until the top is browned, Serve with toasted bread or chips.

Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
An anniversary celebration at the Olive Garden in Wilmington recently offered up the opportunity to try their Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip. Many of you are probably familiar with the spinach dip made with mayonnaise, a package of vegetable dip mix, and water chestnuts; today’s recipe is reminiscent of the familiar cold spinach dip.
I had never had artichokes of any kind that I remembered and was at first leery of what we were getting ourselves into. All’s well that ends well, the dip was a delicious hit among our party. Enough so – that I had to find the recipe to give to you.
The artichoke globe, also called "French artichoke" and "green artichoke," derives its common name from the northern Italian words articiocco and articoclos. The cocali part of these words has a literal meaning of pinecone. How cleaver of our forefathers to name things such as they did.
This pinecone looking vegetable is related to, believe it or not, the sunflower family and is native to the Mediterranean and Canary Islands. When fully grown the plant spreads to cover an area about six feet in diameter and reaches a height of three to four feet. The part of the artichoke plant that is eaten the plant’s flower bud. When allowed to flower, the artichoke blossoms measure up to seven inches in diameter and are a beautiful violet-blue in color.
While the artichoke has two peak growing seasons, the spring and the fall, they are available twelve months a year. One hundred percent of all artichokes grown commercially in the U.S. are grown in California.
Some little known facts about the artichoke include that they are one of the oldest foods known to humans. In the 16th century, eating an artichoke was reserved only for men. Women were denied the pleasure because the artichoke was considered an aphrodisiac and was thought to enhance sexual power. Men! How silly! Here is an even better one: Marilyn Monroe was the first official California Artichoke Queen in 1949. Turns out it wasn’t the vegetable that was the aphrodisiac after all!
While this recipe calls for canned artichoke hearts, if you choose to purchase a fresh artichoke it will be good to know that one medium to large artichoke will yield approximately 2 ounces of edible flesh. Select globes that are a deep green, have a tight leaf formation, feels heavy for its size and when the leaves are pressed against each other they produce a squeaking sound. Artichoke “experts” consider the fall and winter vegetables that have been “winter-kissed” by exposure to a light frost to have a more intense flavor.
While artichokes are small in amount they offer large nutritious benefits. For the 25 calories derived from a nutrient dense medium artichoke there are 16 essential nutrients that include phytochemicals and other compounds that play an important role in maintaining good health and preventing disease and may help the liver to regenerate healthy tissue. They are a good source of fiber, are low in calories and sodium and have no fat or cholesterol. So enjoy your artichokes.
This Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip is a recipe that is supposedly used by the Olive Garden. At least that is what the information said on the website. Other than the artichoke, spinach, cream cheese, and a variety of other cheeses play a major role in this mild but yummy tasting recipe.
One thing to remember when making copycat restaurant recipes at home is that you cannot scrimp on the ingredients. Restaurants are not worried about your weight or your cholesterol levels, they are more concerned with whether or not you like their food and when you will be back to buy some more. When you make these recipes you must use the “real” thing if you want it to taste like it does in the restaurant. Whole fat cream cheese, fresh parmesan and Romano cheeses, not that that comes from the plastic bottle or the plastic bag. If you don’t use these “real” ingredients you won’t get the “real” recipe.
If you are serving more than 6 people you will want to double this recipe. I hope it is as good to you as it was to us! It is a simple and easy to fix recipe, enjoy!




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