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Artichoke and parmesan spinach dip

June 27, 2013



I was wondering the aisle of the supermarket the other day and snuck a little taste of this dip (it was a free sample- I haven’t turn to a life of petty, food related crime). It was delicious (aside from the suspiciously lengthy expiration date and assurance it doesn’t need to live in the fridge) so I had to whip up some homemade as I’m a not a huge fan of ‘fresh’ things that stay ‘fresh’ for longer than a week… unrefrigerated.

Also if you stop halfway through this recipe you have homemade mayonnaise which can be flavoured with all manner of things so really this is a two in one recipe!

Ingredients:

1 egg yolk

Juice of half a lemon

1/2 tsp white wine vinegar

1 cup olive oil

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

1 clove of garlic

1 inch square chunk of parmesan

1 jar of artichoke hearts in oil (about two whole hearts)


Method:

Before you start its best to know that making mayonnaise is an incredibly delicate operation, as a child of the whack it all in a mix it up school of cooking mayonnaise has been a bit of a nemesis of mine. But be assured that when it does finally work and you get the hang of it there is nothing more satisfying than serving up homemade mayonnaise- if you don’t get loads of compliments (even a standing ovation) don’t let anyone have it... they don’t deserve it.

Firstly mix the lemon juice and white wine vinegar in a cup. In a separate, clean mixing bowl or in the bowl of a food processor with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolk until it is very light in colour and has aerated. Add half of the vinegar/lemon juice and whisk again, the yolk should begin to puff up a bit more and thicken slightly, when it has thickened to the consistency of double (heavy) cream add the rest of the vinegar/lemon juice and continue to whisk until well incorporated and further ‘puffed’.

Now the oil, you will not believe (until you have poured away 3 or 4 failed attempts) how slowly you need to add the oil, literally add a drop and whisk for 3 or 4 minute, then another drop etc. Do this until you have added about a quarter of the oil and the mixture is continuing to thicken and lighten, once the mayonnaise is ‘stable’ and thick you can add a little more oil but pouring and very thin, steady stream as the whisk is going but don’t get cocky and splosh it in in one go. Mayonnaise does not appreciate cockiness.

Once all your oil is added and you have gloriously thickened beautiful mayonnaise, pop it in the fridge to rest and cool whilst you prep your flavourings. At this point I would not blame you for stopping and celebrating a job well done, after all you will most likely have had to wash up the bowl a few times to start again and this simple little dip is the last thing you want to make. If you got it right first time then I salute you, or you are lying.

Finely chop the garlic and spinach and fry in a little oil on a medium heat until the spinach has wilted and is very tender. Chop the artichokes finely but not into a mush, I removed any ‘petal’ stumps and just used the heart flesh, as the petals are a bit to chewy to go in the dip. Finely grate the parmesan then add all the ingredients to the mayonnaise and mix well.

The dip is really flavourful so you won’t want to pair it with anything else too strong so serve up with plain, salted crisps or breadsticks.








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