Every Saturday morning my mom, my daughter, and I wake up early and head to a little neighboring town so we can shop at the most precious little farmer's market. This cute little market is a food lover's paradise. There are about 15 little stands arranged underneath a pavilion that sits right next to the Kentucky River. Each farmer's stand is total perfection and offers something fresh and delicious that no other does. Together, these 15 stands manage to cover almost each and every food group in a truly unparalleled way.
There is a squash stand, specializing in pumpkins and every other fall gourd you can imagine; a very happy orchard farmer selling the most beautiful apples, pies, and jams; two bakers, one selling sweets and one selling all kinds of specialty breads. Then there is a sweet and very hard-working lady who sells all cuts of grass-fed beef from her cattle farm; a lady who sells the most beautiful (and rather petite) versions of vegetables and herbs I've ever seen; a chicken farmer who raises organic chickens and eggs; a flower farmer selling all sorts of colorful flower bouquets; a soap maker who makes all-natural soaps using essential oils; someone selling homemade jewelry; and my new favorite, a pig farmer specializing in the best Berkshire pork of the highest quality. It's the most wonderful farmer's market with truly amazing treasures. It's quite simply my favorite place to be these days.
Ellie's Spinach and Artichoke Dip. My daughter fell in love with these teeny tiny baby tomatoes and I thought they would look really cute served atop the dip and placed in the middle of the veggie platter. The veggie farmer also gave me some precious little carrots with the stems and leaves still attached, some tiny baby celery, little colorful sweet peppers, and the freshest snap peas I've ever bit into. I bought a loaf of some really soft Asiago & Basil bread from the bread maker, cut it into strips, brushed it with a little butter, and broiled it until lightly browned. It was definitely an ode to the farmer's market!
Ellie's Spinach and Artichoke Dip is creamy and cheesy without being too heavy, as most dips tend to be. As I do with most of Ellie's recipes, I found it to be perfectly balanced and very pleasing. This is a blended dip that is rather smooth and therefore, easy to eat. We found this lighter version perfectly satisfying. I imagine leftover dip would be great spread onto toast, or served in an omelet or sandwich. We found this lighter version perfectly satisfying and really enjoyed it. I thought it was a tasty and colorful way to welcome Ellie! I'm excited for a healthy and delicious six months.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip
Recipe found on Food Network
Written by Ellie Krieger
Makes 12 servings
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
1 (10-ounce) pkg frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, excess liquid squeezed out
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 cup (4 ounces) reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
To serve: Pita wedges, veggies, crackers, chips, etc.
Preheat oven to 375F. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until onions are light golden but not browned. Remove from heat and cool.
In the bowl of a food processor combine artichoke hearts, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, mozzarella, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Add cooled onion-garlic mixture to the food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
Transfer mixture to a baking dish (recipe calls for an 8-inch glass baking dish or a 9-inch pie plate) that has been lightly buttered. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until heated through (mine dip was finished baking but not piping hot like I want my dips to be when served, so I actually microwaved my portion a little bit before serving). Serve with pita wedges, crackers, chips, or veggies.
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