My favorite holiday is coming up. New Year’s Day! A fresh start, a brand new year brimming with possibilities. One of my resolutions for 2018 is to take the time to make special days special. So, for New Year’s I am making Posole, a dish that is traditionally reserved for special occasions. It is the perfect winter stew, hearty, spicy, done in the slow cooker. If you can’t find Posole, you can substitute canned hominy.
This Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip is inspired by an appetizer we recently had at the La Fonda in Santa Fe. We had company from out of state here, so we took a day trip to Santa Fe. Yes, we did the touristy stuff at the Plaza, but it was lovely. The Christmas lights and decorations were up. After a long day of art galleries and shopping, we stopped in to La Fonda’s La Fiesta Lounge and had a drink and some delicious appetizers. Everybody’s favorite was the Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Dip. So, here is my version of it, perfect for a New Year’s Party.
This is what you will need. A package of fresh spinach, a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil, garlic, asiago cheese, cream cheese, lemon juice and a dash of nutmeg.
This only takes about 30 minutes to make start to finish. La Fonda serves their’s with little garlic toasts. I used some bagel chips. Since it is mainly made out of spinach, I think it is one of the healthier dips to have in your back pocket for the holidays and parties – can you say Super Bowl. Don’t forget the squeeze of lemon juice. It really makes a difference.
If your Asiago cheese is not pre-shredded, break it up first in the processor by pulsing it a few times. Now, add half of your spinach and the garlic. Pulse until the mixture resembles a rough pesto. Empty everything out of the food processor bowl into a non-stick skillet. Add the rest of the spinach along with the sun-dried tomatoes, to the empty processor bowl. Pulse this mixture like you did the first. I suggest doing this in two batches because if you try to do it all in one you won’t get a consistent texture.
Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Dip, Simmer until the garlic is cooked.
Dump the second half of the mixture out of the food processor into your non-stick skillet. Mix everything together. Over low heat, cook at low simmer until the garlic no longer tastes raw. It should take about 5 to 10 minutes. Add in the nutmeg and cream cheese. Stir to combine. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Don’t leave out the lemon, it rounds out the taste. Serve warm with little toasts. I used Stacy’s Bagel Chips, just perfect.
This is not only a great healthy dip, you can use it as a sandwich spread (see my Ham and Cheese Panini), mixed into or over eggs, stirred into soup, the list goes on. I would love to hear how many ways you think of using this versatile recipe.
Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Dip
Serve this healthy dip warm with garlic toasts, pita or bagel chips.
- 1 9 oz package fresh baby spinach
- 1/3-1/2 cup Asiago cheese shredded
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh garlic or about 3 cloves roughly chopped
- 1 6.7 oz jar sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 3 tbsp cream cheese
- dash nutmeg
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice or to taste
In the large bowl of a food processor, pulse together 1/2 of the spinach, Asiago cheese and garlic. Scrape bowl out and add the rest of the spinach to the empty food processor bowl. Pulse second batch of spinach.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes with some of their oil and pulse again a few more times until mixture is the consistency of a rough pesto.
Pour mixture into a medium size non-stick skillet and bring to a simmer. Cook about 10 minutes or until the garlic no longer tastes raw.
Add cream cheese and nutmeg. Stir to melt the cream cheese and combine. Cook another 5 minutes or so until cream cheese is completely incorporated.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Stir and serve warm with toasts, crisp pita or bagel chips.
Use this not just for dip, but add to pasta like a pesto, as a spread on sandwiches. It is also good mixed into eggs.
Our cousins came to visit this past weekend. Well really Andrea is the accidental cowboy’s second cousin. But let’s not split hairs. I now consider Andrea and her husband both my cousins. Andrea is an extraordinary baker and cook. It was such a delight to cook with her while they were here. We, well, mainly she made this amazing salad. Why so amazing? It is so good it could possibly replace Pringles. A little salty, tangy and crunchy. Just like Pringles but healthy! Just vegetables and this really yummy dressing. I call it Andrea’s Confetti Salad because it is full of all these bits of color.
It has been a busy week. We finally got around to hanging pictures and cleaning out the last of our moving boxes. It’s been a little over a year since we moved out here and we just haven’t taken the time to finish all those little decorating touches. I have to let those decisions marinate for a while, see how we actually want to use the living space. So after a long day of decorating decisions, I need a quick, easy dinner. Since ordering a pizza delivery is not an option, this is one of go to’s when I am too tired to cook. Ham and Asparagus Pesto Pasta.