When I think of traditional Spinach Artichoke Dips, I think of deliciousness, but also think of the very high fat content. There's just so much cheese, and then, cream cheese, and maybe, probably, sometimes, sour cream?! I wanted to come up with a plant based variety that didn't just swap out the package of dairy cheese for the package of non-dairy cheese, because let's face it, while non-dairy cheese isn't dairy, it still isn't always the the most nutritious choice.
And so, I decided if cheese wasn't going to be the star, I had to figure out a way to engineer addictive flavor. Enter in an entire bulb of roasted garlic! If we know anything about roasted garlic, it's that it is much, much mellower than raw garlic or even sautéed garlic. It has a round flavor that helps bring this dip together. I bought 25 cloves of roasted garlic off of an olive bar at my local grocer, but you can also make roasted garlic from scratch. I also added fresh lemon peel, nutritional yeast, a bit of salt, and a smidge of vegan parmesan. All together, it's flavorful, creamy, and very simple to make. And while this isn't meant to be a perfect match of the beloved, traditional recipe, it is a damn fine dip.
For a variation, use store bought grilled artichokes (two 6 ounce packages should do the job!), instead of using frozen artichokes. Delicious!
Roasted Garlic Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 12.3 ounce package of silken tofu, extra firm
1 large bulb of roasted garlic, divided in half OR 25 cloves of roasted garlic (see note above)
⅓ cup nutritional yeast
½-1 tsp fresh lemon peel (I cut a piece off the lemon I used for the lemon juice!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 12 ounce package frozen spinach leaves
1 12 ounce package of frozen artichoke hearts
¼ cup lemon juice
⅓ cup non-dairy milk
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
⅓ cup non-dairy parmesan (I used Follow Your Heart)
1. In a food processor or blender, add silken tofu, 10 roasted garlic cloves (or ½ the cloves from the roasted garlic bulb), nutritional yeast, ½-1 tsp fresh lemon peel, and salt. Blend until very, very smooth and creamy. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add onion, olive oil, a dash of salt and black pepper. Sauté for ~7 minutes, stirring every now and then. Add frozen spinach, frozen artichoke hearts, and 15 cloves of garlic (or the other ½ of the cloves from the roasted garlic bulb). Sauté until the artichoke hearts and spinach are no longer frozen and cooked through (~5-7 minutes).
3. Preheat the oven to BROIL on HIGH. Remove from heat, and stir in silken tofu mixture, lemon juice, non-dairy milk, non-dairy parmesan, salt and black pepper. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed (more lemon? salt?). Grease a medium round casserole dish, and spoon the dip into it. BROIL on HIGH for 5-10 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of browned on top. Watch very closely to make sure it does not burn. Remove from the oven, and serve immediately with warmed or lightly toasted bread for dipping.