A Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip with Arla Cream Cheese

A Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip with Arla Cream Cheese -- The Boston Day Book

Are you excited for the Big Game this weekend? I don’t watch that many sports on TV, but we always watch this one — it is usually an exciting game, and it’s a great excuse to have a few people over and make delicious snacks. I was already thinking about game day food when Arla Foods reached out to us to see if we wanted to develop a recipe using their cream cheese, since in the spirit of the rivalry, we may want to avoid using Philadelphia cream cheese! It was a great chance to check out their products. Arla makes a few different types of cream cheese, and they all look delicious. Plus, this way Patriot fans can make any cream cheese-centric appetizers without comprising their fan integrity! ;)

A Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip with Arla Cream Cheese -- The Boston Day Book

I decided to make a twist on the classic spinach artichoke dip, but with some more vegetables and Mediterranean flavors to brighten it up. I finished it in the oven, because golden brown cheese is extra delicious — I hope you will agree. I was so happy with the result — a recipe that still has plenty of decadent creaminess (from the cream cheese, yogurt, parmesan, and mozzarella), but also enough vegetables and spice to balance the richness.

A Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip with Arla Cream Cheese -- The Boston Day Book
A Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip with Arla Cream Cheese -- The Boston Day Book

I am all about fresh and simple foods — they are often the most delicious! It is really important to me to be able to recognize all the ingredients on food labels. Arla Original cream cheese contains only four simple ingredients: cream, milk, cheese culture, and salt. No wonder it’s so good! For more than 100 years, Arla has been making cheese in Wisconsin, and is a cooperative owned by dairy farmers.

A Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip with Arla Cream Cheese -- The Boston Day Book A Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip with Arla Cream Cheese -- The Boston Day Book A Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip with Arla Cream Cheese -- The Boston Day Book

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and have fun on Sunday. Go Pats! I’ll be making it again soon, whether there is a football game on or not!

A Mediterranean Spinach Artichoke Dip with Arla Cream Cheese

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1-2 jalapeno peppers (Depending on size and spice preference), finely diced
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
16 oz. frozen or fresh spinach
leaves from 4-5 sprigs of fresh marjoram, or use dried marjoram
10 oz. artichoke hearts, jarred or frozen and defrosted, chopped
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
7 oz. Original Arla cream cheese
4 oz. full-fat Greek yogurt
salt and pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (save 1/3 for top)
1 cup part-skim pulled mozzarella, grated (save 1/3 for top)

Instructions:

Set the oven to 400 degrees as you wash and prepare the vegetables.

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil and add the red bell pepper and jalapeño. Cook a few minutes, until sizzling and starting to soften.

Add the pinch red pepper flakes if desired, followed by the fresh or frozen spinach. If using fresh spinach, cook until spinach is completely wilted and as much water as possible has evaporated to ensure that the dip will have a strong spinach flavor and not be too watery. If using frozen spinach (which works very well in this recipe), defrost by submerging leaves in warm water, and then squeeze out as much water as possible. Add the marjoram, and stir well. Stir in the olives and artichoke hearts and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the cream cheese and yogurt to the skillet, along with salt (lightly, as the olives and cheese are a bit salty) and black pepper. Stir to combine. Sprinkle on 2/3 of both the parmesan and the mozzarella, and stir to combine and allow the cheese to melt.

When mixed, pour the dip into a small casserole dish, and top with the remaining 1/3 of the cheese. Bake in the oven for 20-28 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and golden brown. (The cheese on top is one of the best parts!)

Allow to cool for a few minutes, and then serve with chips, firm vegetables, or crackers. This dip can be kept in the fridge, covered, for a few days. Enjoy!

This post is in collaboration with Arla Foods, a brand we really like! As always, all opinions are our own. Thanks for reading The Boston Day Book!

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