I’ll be honest, I’m pretty sheepish when it comes to dip. It just seems so retro, like it belongs in one of those old 1950s cookbooks with the plaid dust jackets. The kind of book that depends on ingredients like Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup and canned pineapple.
That being said, I have a good friend who happens to be a trained chef, and her go-to party dish is always a dip. Fine, maybe dip can be cool after all, especially when it’s her version with caramelized onions and Indian spices.
And here’s the truth, dips do get a bad rap, and it’s not because they don’t taste good. It’s because they were popular at a time when jello salads and SPAM burgers were in favor. They were just hanging’ with the wrong crowd, so to speak.
My biggest problem with dips today is their placement, with all of the other appetizers, at the beginning of the meal. Aren’t those foods the best part of the meal? Who doesn’t want to gorge themselves on a heaping plate of wings, or a gigantic vat of nachos? I think I speak for all of us when I say that we have no need for the rest of the meal. No need at all.
So it was with great fortune that I ran out of food the other day. The fridge was nearly bare. This was time for brute tactics. I managed to find a wilting bunch of kale and a few types of cheese along with a package of nearly-expired prosciutto. Perfect. Digging around the freezer revealed some more potential treasures: a big bag of frozen artichokes and some grated Parmesan. Hmmm….
And then it hit me. Dip. I’d be able to make a dip just for myself. A whole tray of it. No holding back, no whetting of the appetite, no guilt, no remorse. I’d have some crusty bread in one hand, and a glass of white in the other.
So here it is, my little something-out-of-nothing. A kale and artichoke dip with plenty of cheese, and a dash of heat.
Given that Thanksgiving is just a few short days away, I thought it would be great to share the love in case you’re looking for an easy but flavorful appetizer. That is if you weren’t immensely inspired by my Thanksgiving post which suggests some equally tasty (and easy) appetizers along with plenty of other tips and tricks.
This dip has all kinds of sexy ingredients in one place: kale, artichokes, caramelized onions, crispy prosciutto bits, Parmesan, Feta, white cheddar. The kind of ingredients that I generally have on hand because (with the exception of kale) they have pretty long shelf-lives.
So enjoy this for Thanksgiving, or if you want to eat it alone, in secret, while catching up on Game of Thrones, be my guest. I won’t tell. Or maybe I will, because that’s how it went down in our house, and there’s no shame in that. Enjoy!
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups of kale, steamed, water drained, and chopped
- 1 14-oz bag frozen artichokes, thawed
- 8 oz white cheddar, roughly chopped
- 4 oz package of Feta cheese
- ½ cup cream cheese
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- A few grinds of black pepper
- 4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 3oz package prosciutto, cut crosswise into slices
- Preheat the oven to 350
- In a medium sautee pan over medium heat, sautee the onion until lightly caramelized (just starting to turn golden brown)
- In the bowl of a food processor process the cheddar and feta cheese until it resembles coarse bits.
- Add the chopped kale, artichokes, caramelized onions, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper, and 2 Tbsp of the Parmesan cheese. Puree until blended well, about 30 seconds.
- In the same pan as the onions were cooked, add the prosciutto and cook over medium heat until brown, about 1 minute.
- Add the prosciutto to the dip in the food processor, and pulse a few times to blend.
- Scrape the mixture into 2 individual baking dishes (about 16 oz each) or for a bigger crowd, 1 medium sized 8x8 dish. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. If the top needs additional browning, you can broil it for a minute, keeping a close eye so that it doesn’t burn.
- This makes a pretty big batch of dip - we had enough for 2 individual baking dishes, about 16 oz each, one we ate right away, the other we wrapped and saved for later in the week.