Friday, January 30, 2009

Baked Parmesan Dip

For a recent dinner party, I was making Happy Hour Mushrooms, and needed a second appetizer. A spinach-artichoke dip seemed like a possibility, but I just didn't feel like it. I wanted to try something new.

Tim and I LOVE cheese. I can't tell you how many times during our initial days of dating we had a cheese, cracker and wine dinner. Heaven. Now, we still slice some parmesan cheese to enjoy with a glass of wine before dinner. Especially on lazy weekend days.

When I saw this recipe in a holiday e-mail a couple months ago, I tucked it away, knowing I would want to make it sometime soon. And soon enough, my dinner party came up! Baked Parmesan Dip - yep, my perfect second appetizer.

I originally made the recipe exactly as stated, but have adjusted it below based on feedback and my preferences. First, it was tasty, and super easy! It received rave reviews, people ate it up. Yay! Second, while I really like mayonnaise, I also like to pretend I'm a healthy person and not overdo it... hence, I reduced the mayo from 1 cup to 3/4 cup in the recipe for future. Wont be a drastic change to the taste/consistency, but hopefully slightly healthier. If only by a small amount. A very, very small amount. I also used regular mayo, and while using reduced-fat would also help my conscience, I prefer the taste of regular.

Definitely a contender for super bowl party dips! Enjoy.

Baked Parmesan Dip
adapted slightly from Safeway

1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3/4 cup reduced-fat (or regular) mayonnaise
1 package (3 oz) cream cheese
3/4 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 Baguette, thinly sliced diagonally

Squeeze spinach to remove liquid.

With a mixer, beat spinach, mayonnaise, cream cheese, onion, garlic, 1 cup of the parmesan cheese, and pepper until thoroughly combined.

Mound mixture in a 3- to 4-cup baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese and paprika.

Bake in a 350° oven until hot in center and lightly browned on top, 25 to 30 minutes.

Serve hot to spread on baguette slices.

More interesting parmesan recipes:
- Parmesan Poppy Seed Crackers, from White on Rice Couple
- Butternut Squash and Parmesan Dip, from Apartment Therapy
- Crispy Baked Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, from Green Lite Bites

Guten appetit!

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