Artichoke, Spinach, and White Bean Dip

A neighborhood block party for the Fourth of July.  Everyone brings a pot-luck dish to share. Friends getting together, talking, playing games, kids running around, riding bikes, playing in the sprinkler.  A very typical July 4th celebration.  That’s what we did and perhaps many of you  did the same.  I hope your day was relaxing and enjoyable.

This post is about the appetizer I brought to share.  It got rave reviews, disappeared very quickly, and was very easy to make.  I served it with a variety of crackers, and toasted pita chips for dipping.  I’ve had this kind of dip on previous occasions, and though I like it very much I limit myself to just a few tastes because I know it is usually high in fat and calories.  This version, however, cuts the calories way back, by reducing the amount of cheese(es) in it, and including white beans processed with the base ingredients to give thickness without fat.

So in this version you have the sharpness of Romano cheese, the tang of lemon juice, and the bite of red pepper, incorporated into a base made smooth by mayonnaise (the only fat) and pureed white beans.  To me this is the real star of the show, although the spinach and artichokes get all the attention.   This is when I say,  Oh, Yeah!  Bring it on!    You’ll be happy to know that a 1/4 cup serving contains only 87 calories,  4.9 g.carb, and 5.4 g. fat.

ARTICHOKE, SPINACH, AND WHITE BEAN DIP

YIELD:  about 3 cups;  serves 12 or more

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup ( 1 ounce) grated pecorino Romano cheese  (purchased already grated at the grocery store.)
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (15 oz.) can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained.  Quarter and chop them.
  • 1 (9 0z. ) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry.
  • cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place Romano cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, red pepper, minced garlic, and white beans in a food processor, and process until smooth.  Spoon into a medium bowl.  Stir in the artichokes and spinach.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until bubbly and brown.  Serve warm with crackers or chips for dipping.

SOURCE:  Cooking Light Magazine

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