Why do we call this Italian style?
Instead of lots of cheddar cheese that is what you usually see in this dip. We make Asiago cheese the star of the show. Sure we add a little bit of cheddar but not much by any means. We also call it Italian style because we insist on using the artichoke hearts that are marinated in olive oil and spices. We think it adds a depth of flavor that you just can’t achieve with canned artichoke hearts.
While I am explaining the name. I will tell you that we call it fresh since we only use fresh spinach leaves. This is not only for the taste but also for the process. I absolutely hate squeezing out the excess water from a half-frozen bag of spinach. It is so much more pleasant to squeeze lukewarm spinach in your hands to remove that excess water.
You can also add some fresh tomato, because what screams Italian but a nice red tomato, preferably an Italian plum tomato?. In my opinion, their flesh holds up better to heating as compared to other styles. Just make sure that you scoop the insides of the tomato out and discard before chopping. We skipped the tomato this time due to an allergy restriction of one of my guests.
- 1 Bag of Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves
- 1 Clove of Garlic (Minced)
- 1 10 Ounce Jar of Marinated Artichoke Hearts
- 1 Cup of Asiago Cheese
- ¼ Cup of Cheddar Cheese
- 4 Ounces of Cream Cheese
- 1 Teaspoon of Worcestershire Sauce
- ½ Teaspoon of Tabasco
- ½ Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Pinch of Garlic Powder
- 1 Pinch of Onion Powder
- ¼ Cup of Sour Cream
- ¼ Cup of Mayonnaise or Greek Yogurt
- Soften the cream cheese by cutting it into small cubes and let it sit while you make the spinach
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Spray a glass or ceramic pan with cooking spray
- Saute the spinach until it is soft, let it cool for 20 minutes, and squeeze all the water out of it discard the water
- Chop or shred the spinach
- In a bowl mix all the ingredients together, being mindful not to overmix
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the dip is bubbling and the top starts to brown
- Serve warm with tortilla chips, pita, or veggies