Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Hot Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Step 1 - Trimming the artichokes: Starting at the bottom of each artichoke, peel off the outer leaves until only tender green ones are visible. Peel and trim the stems. Cut off the top 1⁄2 inch and discard. Cut the bottoms in half lengthwise, or in smaller pieces for larger artichokes. Scrape out any fibrous choke from the center of larger artichokes. Squeeze on lemon juice and toss well.
Step 2 - Cooking the artichokes: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the whole garlic, thyme, artichokes, and 4 tablespoons water. Sauté 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Spread on a plate to cool.
Step 3 - Sautéing the spinach: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Add the spinach and cook, turning occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a clean kitchen towel.
Step 4 - Draining the spinach: Enclose the spinach inside the towel and, over a sink or bowl, squeeze firmly to remove all excess liquid. Transfer the spinach to a plate and spread it out to cool. Meanwhile, position oven racks in the upper- and lower-third positions and preheat the oven to 400°F.
Step 5 - Chopping the artichokes: Put the cooled cooked artichokes, or thawed frozen ones, in a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade. Pulse the machine on and off until the artichokes are very coarsely chopped, 5 to 7 seconds. Leave the artichokes in the processor.
Step 6 - Adding enrichments & seasonings: Add to the processor the mayonnaise, goat cheese, and mascarpone. Pulse the machine on and off several times just until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Step 7 - Pulsing in the spinach: Add the well-drained spinach and pulse the machine on and off several times more, just until the spinach is combined with the other ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and pulse briefly. The mixture should still have some texture.
Step 8 - Topping the dip & preparing crostini: Spoon the mixture into a shallow ovenproof gratin dish or other baking dish about 9 inches in diameter. Before baking, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, paprika, and Parmesan. Place the French bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
Step 9 - Baking the dip & crostini: Put the baking dish on the upper oven rack and the crostini on the lower rack. Bake until the crostini are golden, about 12 minutes, and the dip is bubbling and golden-brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 10 - Serving the dip: Transfer the baking dish to a heatproof trivet or pad on the serving table and surround it with the crostini. Serve immediately.