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Election night party app: Artichoke and spinach dip

Let red and blue tortilla chips fall into this creamy artichoke and spinach dip on election night.

By Kitchen Report / November 6, 2012

Fresh spinach wilted in garlic butter with artichoke hearts and creamy cheese is a winning appetizer at every party.

Kitchen Report

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The Nov. 5 cover story for The Christian Science Monitor weekly edition shares the voices of voters in swing states. In addition to the resounding chorus of “Washington, get something done!,” the sentiment from these towns, which may be deeply divided politically and with serious concerns about our individual and collective future, is that neighbors and friends are still able to get along.

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Kendra Nordin is a staff editor and writer for the weekly print edition of the Monitor. She also produces Stir It Up!, a recipe blog for CSMonitor.com.

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“My best friend in the world is a super-left-wing liberal,” Anne Wanke, an unswerving Republican, from Janesville, Wis., told the Monitor. “I mean, she’s pro-abortion. I’m pro-life. She’s very Democrat. But we’ve worked on projects for 30-something years in this town and love each other dearly. I wish our politicians did the same thing.”

If you are watching the election returns tonight with friends who may or may not share your political persuasion, break out a bag of blue and a bag of red tortilla chips (and maybe a plain corn one for Third Party fans) and dig into this delicious, warm artichoke and spinach dip.

You’ve probably made spinach and artichoke dip from frozen spinach before. I’m going to challenge you to make it from fresh spinach. (I’ll leave peeling artichokes for another day.) It is just as fast to wilt chopped, fresh spinach in some melted butter with browned garlic as it is to rip open a frozen box of spinach.

Pepper jack cheese adds a layer of heat (and if you don’t have that handy, just add a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes).

This dip takes almost no time to make. So hustle and get to the polls to cast your vote and then head home to warm up with this cheesy, creamy dip.

Artichoke and spinach dip

2 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 8-ounce bag fresh spinach, chopped

1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts (about 2 cups), chopped

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, cubed

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonaise

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

1/4 teaspoon salt

Dash of pepper flakes, optional

Melt butter in a large skillet add garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add spinach and stir. When the spinach cooks down add artichoke hearts and heat through. Add cream cheese and pepper jack cheese and stir until cheeses melt. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir to mix thoroughly. 

Serve warm with your choice of tortilla chips, pita chips, or crackers.

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