Once upon a time I lived in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn where little specialty stores were abundant and mere steps from my doorstep. When spontaneous guests were due at our little apartment, I would scoot out and pick up our favorite Spinach Dip from a little market, serving it with pre-cut veggies. Yesterday, longing for that dip and hoping to make something similar that I could repeat for an upcoming dinner party, I created this Spinach Dip with Crudite, serving it to my small, but critical test market.
Admittedly, the Spinach Dip was, at most, reminiscent of my Brooklyn one. But I do think it is a tasty little app, perfect for a Superbowl Party or just plain winter entertaining OR for serving to the balding hunk of a critic (he was less husband last night) and my white-haired and hungry little monster of a son.
The dip is relatively easy to make. Just sauté some garlic and spinach stove-top, let it cool, drain in a colander, and then finely chop it. Meanwhile, toss together some sour cream, a little mayo and cream cheese (you can use reduced fat if you want), dill, chives, salt and pepper stir it up, adding in water chestnuts and then the spinach and garlic, stirring it some more. Then squeeze fresh lemon juice over top, stirring it again and putting it into the refrigerator for a few hours. Note that you need to let it chill for at least a few hours or even overnight so the flavors jive. Yes, “jive” is a technical term.
I have one confession. I thought it was a stroke of genius to put my nicely cut veggies in a Ziploc bag with just a little drizzle of lemon oil and sea salt. I was trying to repeat a marvelous crudite I had eaten at Blue Hill some time ago. Boy, was I unsuccessful. . . .unless you enjoy eating crudite with a fork. The balding hunk of a critic screamed, “What is this slime all over these veggies? Can you get me a napkin?” The white-haired monster didn’t seem to mind. He parked himself in front of the dip and ate more carrots than any toddler in history and screamed when we tried to take it away. Next time, before I serve this dip, I will drizzle just a bit of the lemon oil (purchased yesterday from the Fairway) on the top along with some fresh ground pepper. The lemon oil makes this dip rock.
Now if you are serving this to people over the age of five, the balding hunk of a critic also advises that this is a “chunky” dip so make sure your Crudite is pretty, but substantial enough for proper dipping. Apparently, when you cut it for little hands, it makes it harder for the big boys to dip their veggies. Enjoy!
Spinach Dip with Crudite
Author: Julie du Pont
Recipe type: Starter
Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Fresh and lively spinach dip with crudite perfect for parties!
- 1 5 oz bag of baby spinach
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup cream cheese
- 1 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
- 1 container of water chestnuts, drained and chopped.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon squeezed)
- Lemon olive oil for drizzling
- Assorted chopped vegetables (carrots, celery, radish, red pepper)
- Saute garlic in olive oil until garlic just begins to brown, a few minutes.
- Add in spinach and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Move to a colander and let any excess liquid drain.
- Chop spinach finely.
- Meanwhile, mix together the sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise. Add in dill, chives, salt and pepper and mix together. Add in water chestnuts and stir.
- Add in spinach and stir.
- Squeeze lemon juice over top and chill for 3 hours or overnight.
- Right before serving, drizzle with lemon oil and grind pepper on top.
- Serve with assorted vegetables.
Julie du Pont is a Darien resident, mom and lawyer. She blogs about food and entertaining at weekend table.