Last time I made this spinach and artichoke dip I had half the party asking for the recipe; so I promised to “share it” one day. The best part of this recipe is that leftovers can be made into amazing melts the next day and enjoyed all over again.
Aunt Charlotte and Aunt Sissi, this recipe is for you.
Ok, so this isn’t a recipe we eat often -at all- but when we have company, it definitely falls under the “party food” and “people pleaser” category. For family get-togehters, football games and birthday parties, I pull out my little kitchen binder full of recipe print outs, post-its, and magazine cut outs and find some delicious food everyone will enjoy.
This recipe came from Susan, a woman who came to a women’s book study I used to host about 5 years ago. While Susan only attended our meetings once in a while, she always showed up on her designated “feed the ladies” week.
When she brought this dip over, I immediately asked her for the recipe. I did for one of two reasons: one, spinach and artichoke dip is the only way you get my husband to eat artichokes; and two, I had half a bag of spinach in my fridge I needed to use asap!
Little did I know that her recipe would become a party favorite. The recipe (as written) below will serve 2-4 people as a dip but it stretches as a melt; so make sure you double or triple the recipe wen you have a party.
Another reason this is one of my husbands’ favorite recipes is because “it starts with a roux.” Of course, a good southern wife should know how to make a roux.
A roux is a mixture of fat and flour to make a thick sauce, seen traditionally in French cooking. Of course, living outside of New Orleans means that we have a lot of French influence in our cooking. You can see a roux in gumbos, homemade macaroni and cheese, soups, dips, and many more.
Back to this recipe. Why did I decide to make “melts” with the dip? Because sometimes I over-make (is there such a thing?) this dip and I wanted to find a way to serve it for lunch the next day. I didn’t have enough as a dip portion but I had a generous amount to stuff a sandwich.
You should know, that I love all things lunch and will find a way to make just about anything lunch friendly. These sandwiches are oey-gooey-melti-licious (as far as I remember) but my husband assured me that they still taste amazing and are blog-worthy.
It can be quite tough to say goodbye to our friend “Mrs wheat” sometimes… but I still find an immense amount of pleasure sharing some of my family’s recipes with all of you. And my husband? He doesn’t complain too much about having to taste-test them either.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip & Sandwich Melts
- Yield: 4
- 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup low fat milk
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (or parmesan)
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 large handfuls fresh spinach, chopped
- 6-8oz jar (or can) marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- olive oil for grilling
- For Dip:
- In a medium sized skillet over medium low heat, sauté garlic in olive oil for a minute or two. Drizzle flour over garlic and mix well with a rubber spatula until it becomes a thick paste.
- Toast the garlic “paste” for another minute or two and slowly begin to stir in milk. Stir to combine until you make a roux (southern word for base).
- Next, ad softened cream cheese, grated Monterrey Jack cheese, Asiago, red and black pepper. Continue stirring until cheeses melt. At first, it will resemble a thick cheesy clump, keep on stirring.
- Once all cheeses are combined, add in Greek yogurt. Stir well to combine into a smooth cheesy base.
- Add in chopped artichokes and spinach; stir well to combine it all. Turn off heat and cover to keep it warm.
- Spread the olive oil on the outsides of your bread slices. Heat a skillet (I often use my pancake griddle) over medium heat.
- Depending on the size of your bread slices, spread anywhere between 2 Tablespoons to ¼ cup of spinach and artichoke mixture onto one bread slice and top with another to create a sandwich (making sure oiled ends are on the outside).
- Grill each sandwich on one side until golden brown and crispy (2-3 minutes per side) and then flip and press lightly to grill the other side.
- Serve immediately.
Use any extra dip with crackers, or inside a tortilla as a spinach and artichoke quesadilla!