Have you ever seen a fruit or vegetable in the shop and thought that you’d love to try it but then realised that you have no idea at all how to cook/eat it?
For the longest time that has been the story of me and artichokes – how cool do artichokes look? They are one of those weird vegetables that people at home in Ireland would say “Oooooohhhh” if you told them you’d eaten it or bought one……meaning they’re definitely not an everyday veggie in Ireland.
I don’t really know why I wanted to buy an artichoke so badly – I’d never even tasted it, but it looked funky and I was really curious, until I spotted it’s price tag….$5 each really? Wow, they must be awesome right! That kinda made me want it more except sanity prevailed and I resisted.
Until I went to Traders Joes. I love Trader Joes, when I lived in LA (2010) that was my shop, it was close, the food was great and it was cheaper than the only other alternative WholeFoods. So I was delighted when Trader Joes opened here in Columbia and even more delighted when I went and found not 1 but 4 artichokes for $2.99 – yay! I could finally justify getting them.
So I brought my amazing find home with me, all pleased with myself and in a moment on inspiration I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them – I’d make spinach and artichoke dip. Great huh!
Except that when I googled recipes they all used canned artichoke hearts…hearts? What was this about hearts and why can’t you just make it with fresh artichokes? So I decided to plough on ahead with cooking the artichokes and thought I’d just figure it out as I went along.
I cooked the artichokes according to the instructions I found on google (I can’t remember where sorry) and then I kept removing the leafy bits to get to the heart…..and then I understood why people don’t use fresh artichoke for dips!
I got this much dip (times 2 cause I was just about able to fill 2 of these little ramekins) from those 4 artichokes! Seriously wow, that was really not worth the effort! Don’t get me wrong it was beyond delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again but I’ll be using the canned hearts next time!
But if you want to spend 30 mins making the world’s smallest amount of dip then follow this recipe:
- Cook 4 artichokes and remove the hearts
- Exclaim profusely over the meagre size of said hearts
- Sautee ¼ of a red onion, and half a clove of garlic until brown and the add in 2 handfuls of spinach until wilted but still vibrant green
- Blend together the artichoke hearts and onion/spinach mix with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and season with salt and pepper.
This made just enough for 2 people and it worked out as less than 2 Weight Watchers points for the whole ramekin but when I make it again I’ll be severely increasing the quantities used because this dip was delicious and I practically licked the ramekin clean.