Spinach artichoke and cheese dip. Served with tortilla chips
Starters and appetizers

Addictive appetizer dip

Just before guests arrive I’m always very busy making dinner ready. Of course my husband can entertain the guests until dinner is ready, but when coming to our house, our guests are used to not only lots of spirited conversations, but certainly also lots of treats for their tummies. This spinach, artichoke and cheese dip is the perfect treat to serve right when the guests arrive. With lots of fresh spinach, artichokes and no less than five cheeses, it’s sure to lay the foundations for a great evening of entertaining. As we all know, a happy belly is, after all, the foundation for relaxation, great thinking and overall wellbeing.

Making a starter dish that the guests can snack on before dinner is sometimes just too time consuming when attention to the main dish is needed before dinner. The practical thing about this spinach, artichoke and cheese dip appetizer is that it can be made ahead. Mix it all together in advance, store in the fridge, and put in the oven half an hour before they arrive. This way you have time to do the finishing touches in the kitchen while the guests can get their expectations up for the meal to come by starting off with very tasty preview.

Hot spinach, artichoke and cheese dip with tortilla chips (serves 4-6)

Ingredients

4 oz (100 g) cream cheese

4 oz (100 g) Ricotta cheese

4 oz (100 g) mayonnaise

3 oz (75 g) grated Parmesan cheese

3 oz (75 g) grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 clove garlic, crushed

A handful of chopped fresh basil leaves only

Salt and pepper to taste

1 bag (6 oz/150 g) of rinsed fresh baby spinach leaves

1 can (14 oz) of artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped

3 oz (75 g) grated Gruyère cheese

1 bag of salted tortilla chips.

Directions

1. Start by turning preheating the oven to 350 Fahrenheit (175 Celsius). Then mix the cream cheese, Ricotta cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Pecorino cheese, garlic and basil in a bowl. Stir the ingredients till no large lumps are left. (Though the mixture can’t help being a little grainy because of the grated cheeses.)

2. If the spinach leaves have rough stems, cut them off and discard them before mixing the spinach into the cheese mixture.

3. The last thing you add is the chopped artichokes. Carefully mix them in without breaking them up too much.

4. Now transfer the mixture to a greased ovenproof tray or dish and sprinkle the grated Gruyère cheese on top. Finally, into the oven it goes for 25 minutes until slightly brown on top.

5. Serve the spinach, artichoke and cheese dip warm with the tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

Need more than one appetizer? Here are a few other great suggestions:

Prawns or shrimp with cilantro lemon mayo

Shrimp appetizer with cilantro lemon mayo dip - further inspiration to lobster starter

Or, Ricotta cream cheese appetizer

Little ricotta bites with basil, pine nuts, Parmesan and lemon - great appetizer

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