01 March 2007

Garlicky Artichoke Dip

Garlic and Artichoke Dip

It was on one of my parents’ Italian nights that I was first introduced to garlic. I was thoroughly turned off. Of course, I was only 5 or 6 years old at the time.

My mother recalls she wasn’t too fond of it, either. It was something she and her contemporaries associated with ethnic neighborhoods in large cities. I am sure its pungent odor offended their small-town sensibilities.

In fact, my parents were born into a world where garlic was looked upon as inferior (sound familiar?). But as the world grew smaller, garlic’s benefits were discovered and extolled.

The older I get, the more I like garlic. And the more garlic I eat. I find there is very little that I do not add garlic to these days. I do not believe it has aphrodisiacal qualities. Well, maybe I do, but that’s another story.

What I do know is that when consumed in any form it is delicious. And it is a mainstay of my favorite type of food, which is Mediterranean.

A nice garlicky artichoke dip was in order, I thought, on a recent stormy night.

And so I made one. A very healthy one, too. As is my habit, I made it from items already on hand. It's too nasty out there to run to the grocery store.

Warm Artichoke Dip with Garlic and Red Peppers
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts
  • 2 small cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, chopped (can be from a jar)
Drain the artichokes and pulverize them in a blender. Set aside. Place the minced garlic in a small sauce pan and sauté until golden brown. Add artichokes, cheeses and dressing. Add the red peppers last. Transfer dip to small baking dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Don't bake too long, or the cheese will separate.


Garlic at the farm market




20 comments:

Jann said...

this could go with anyones diet-truly a wonderful snack and you put forth so much effort! It is so colorful! Good luck with day seven-it is so hard, isn't it....but worth it in the end! Cheers!

Mimi said...

I'm doing OK, but missing fruit. I can do without potatoes, rice and pasta — no problems — but what I would not give for an apple or pear dessert with an oatmeal-walnut crust!

Husband said...

Good luck with the diet. And really, I was reading about a world where garlic is inferior and it nearly makes me weep.h

Mimi said...

I alway thought garlic was popularized after WWII, perhaps by GIs who brought it to respectability in the U.S.

I may be wrong.

Garlic, thankfully, is the king of flavors today.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the South Beach phase one Mimi. I've been there before, you can do it! You will appreciate fruit all the more when you can eat it again. The dip sounds very tasty to me too.

Eileen said...

Oops, sorry Mimi, the anonymous post was from me, I forgot to sign my name.

sher said...

Artichoke dip!! This is an excellant solution for your diet plan. And I would eat it even if I wasn't on a diet. :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

It impressive how undiet like SB friendly foods seem. This looks and sounds fantastic.

Mimi said...

Well so far, it's not going too badly, Eileen. How's the snow out there?

Yes, some of the food is fabulous, Sher and Tanna. It doesn't seem like a diet and I usually do make this dip around the holidays.

I know I'm gonna really love fruit (not that I loathed it before)...

Deprivation probably creates devotion, or something like that!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love recipes with artichokes, Mimi - but have never tried/made a dip with them!

Lydia said...

Garlic (which is wonderful, of course) is one of the foods on my "like it cooked but not raw" list, along with onions. (I've already written to you about the foods I like raw, but not cooked, like strawberries and carrots.) Slow-roasted garlic is absolutely the best.

Mimi said...

Patricia, my father used to do things with fresh artichokes, which I have yet to try (at least recently). I think that's going to be next. Oh, the possibilities are endless.

Lydia, I share your feelings toward cooked strawberries, but I do eat them once in a while. Raw garlic: If it would keep evil away, I would eat it.

Katie said...

It's not possible to eat too much garlic - although friends might become a little more distant if they're not eating it with you....

Mimi said...

I often wonder if I smell garlicky. . .

ChrisB said...

that looks delicious. I don't think I could manage a diet without fruit but good luck with it.

Mimi said...

Well, it's been 8 days now. Seven officially. Seven more to go. I have no cravings for pasta, rice, etc., only apples, pears, grapes, etc.

I do feel thinner. I'll say that!

Lisa said...

What a great dip! Love it. I might have to use Hellman's, though. :)

Mimi said...

I love Hellmann's. Lisa.

I just love sandwich spreads, I guess.

Charles said...

Ah mimi -- when I got home from church this afternoon, my LCB noticed that I'd left 2/3 a can of artichoke hearts by the stove, and asked if I'd make her favorite artichoke dip. It's very much like the one you describe, but I hadn't thought of using celery to dip in it. That sounds really good.

Mimi said...

It's good with peppers, too!