Hot artichoke and beet-green dip

Published: Wednesday, May. 23, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2D

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 27 minutes

Serves 8

Adrienne D. Capps' blog, www.Vegetarianized.com, is a Sacramento Connect partner. She writes:

With artichoke season in full swing in my garden, I went looking around for a few new creative recipes. The typical heavy, over-cheesed spinach and artichoke dip came up a lot so I challenged myself to make a flavorful and healthier version (without using fat-free everything).

With all the beet greens in my freezer, I subbed them for the spinach and used sour cream, Parmesan and Neufchatel cheese instead of gobs of mayo and mild mozzarella. I boosted it with lemon zest, red pepper flakes, thyme and lots of garlic.

Serve with the artichoke leaves (a bonus of using fresh over frozen or canned) and homemade pita chips.

INGREDIENTS

5 medium artichokes, cooked (see methods in story at right), hearts removed and chopped

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced

1 lemon (2 teaspoons lemon zest and juice of one half)

1 bunch beet greens, chopped, about 8-9 ounces

1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces Neufchatel cheese or cream cheese (the former has better flavor and less calories, fat and carbs)

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, thyme and lemon zest. Sauté about 5 minutes until onion gets soft.

Add beet greens, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, red pepper flakes and salt. Mix well and heat until there is no more liquid in the pan from greens, about 5 minutes. Add artichoke hearts and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, mix together Neufchatel, sour cream, lemon juice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add artichoke-greens mixture.

Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and spread the mixture out evenly. Top with Parmesan and bake for 10 minutes. Heat broiler; broil 2-4 minutes until Parmesan melts and begins to brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Per serving: Calories: 187, protein: 8g; fat: 12 g; saturated fat: 7 g; carbohydrates: 15 g, fiber: 5 g; sodium: 379 mg; cholesterol: 33 mg

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