The enticing, brilliant green of this delicious spread masks a healthy twist on the old spinach dip. At this time of year, fresh organic spinach is plentiful at the grocers who specialize in organic produce. This recipe provides a very quick solution for an appetizer or spread for that special bread. It would also make a great base for a green pizza topped with sliced mushrooms and carmelized onions. Packed full of healthy veggies, no guilt here!
4 C raw organic spinach
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 C grated parmesan, romano, or asiago
3/4 C pine nuts
1 T fresh lemon juice
few drops hot sauce (optional)
Wash raw spinach and place in saucepan with water clinging to leaves and an additional 2 T water. Cover and place over medium heat. As soon as spinach is bright green and wilted, remove from heat and douse in cold water to cool.
Drain thoroughly. Meanwhile, smash 3 cloves of garlic with salt in mortar and pestle to mellow and liquefy garlic.
Place spinach, drained artichoke hearts, garlic, pine nuts and cheese in food processor and process until well combined and only a slight texture remains. Add lemon juice and optional hot sauce and pulse a few times. Serve at room temperature. Keeps well in a covered container in the refrigerator for several days, if it lasts that long!