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Recipe: Creamy Artichoke Dip

Oh, ’tis the season! Finding how much wrapping paper is left over from last year, looking for parking spots at the mall, and baking approximately 5,000 cookies. With all that going on, it’s great to have an appetizer in your arsenal that is quick and delicious and different! Personally, anything that involves an artichoke pretty much has me at hello. There’s something about artichokes that are just so scrumptious.

Now, recipes that involve fresh artichokes can be a little daunting, but for this one you get to use those frozen packages of artichokes from the freezer section, so hurray for that! Defrost one of those babies, and in the meantime, you start the recipe by soaking a few slices of bread in some water. This is going to give your dip a nice creamy texture with no cream. Yep, this dip is actually good AND good for you. Now squeeze the bread until the water is mostly out of it, and toss it into your food processor with the thawed artichokes and a couple of anchovies. (Don’t be tempted to leave the anchovies out. I promise your dip is not going to taste like salted fish…the anchovies are going to give it that little hit of “umami” taste that makes Caesar salad taste so dang good.)

Now whirl the whole thing in the food processor until its a paste. Now you are going to drizzle in some olive oil until it is a lovely dip consistency, along with a few spoonfuls of lemon juice. Season it with a little salt and pepper, spoon it into a pretty dish, and drizzle some nice olive oil on top. Grind on some pepper, sprinkle a few chives on top and voila! One more thing crossed off your holiday dinner list. I like this with pita chips and pieces of endive, but pretty much anything will taste terrific dipped into this. I mean, we are talking artichokes here.

Happy delicious holidays, everyone!

Creamy Artichoke Dip, from Everyday Food

4 slices day-old crusty white bread with crusts removed, torn into 2-inch pieces (3 cups)

2 anchovy fillets, drained

1 box (9 ounces) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and drained

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Coarse salt and ground pepper

Chopped fresh chives, for serving

In a medium bowl, pour 1 cup water over bread. Immediately squeeze as much water as possible from bread and transfer to a food processor along with anchovies, artichokes, and sugar. Process until a paste forms.

With machine running, slowly add oil, scraping down bowl as needed. With machine still running, add lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving dish.

To serve, top with chives and a drizzle of oil.

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