Appetizers & Snacks

Creamy spinach and onion dip

We like flat breads. Quite a surprise, really, growing up with soft, airy loaf breads that were the staple of every neighborhood bakery along with the ubiquitous pan de sal. But we fell in love with tortilla as adults. After that, Speedy and I discovered paratha and we loved it even more. While I never developed the habit of dunking my pan de sal in coffee or any other liquid-y mixture, I love dipping flat bread in thick and spicy sauces cum salsas — like roasted eggplant dip and cucumber and mint raita. I guess it was only a matter of time before we tried spinach dip.

casaveneracion.com Creamy spinach and onion dip

Loosely based on the recipe for creamed spinach, the spinach for the dip was finely chopped in the food processor for a smoother, rather than a chunky, texture. Roasted bell peppers were added for color and flavor, and cayenne pepper for some kick.

Ingredients

  • a bag of spinach
  • 3 tbsps. of roughly chopped onion
  • 1 large roasted bell pepper, skinned, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3/4 c. of sour cream (less for a chunkier dip)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 c. of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • juice from half a lemon or lime
  • sugar
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Instructions

  1. Unless using baby spinach which has very tender stalks, I recommend picking the spinach leaves and discarding the stalks. Rinse the spinach leaves after picking.
  2. Boil about four cups of water.
  3. Dump the spinach in the boiling water, pressing the leaves down. Allow to cook for no more than a minute after the water boils again.
  4. Drain the spinach leaves. Douse under the tap to cool. Squeeze to remove the excess water.
  5. If you have less than a cup of spinach leaves at this point, you will need to use less sour cream and cream cheese. The measurements recommended above are good for a cup of boiled and squeezed spinach leaves.
  6. Put the spinach, roasted pepper, onion, sour cream and cream cheese in the food processor or blender. Process until smooth but with still discernible bits of leaves.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the lemon or lime juice.
  8. Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and sugar — the amounts depending on the balance that you prefer. Mix. Adjust the seasonings some more, if needed.
  9. Chill the dip for a couple of hours to allow it to thicken a bit. If you can wait — we couldn’t. If we had waited, the dip would be thicker rather than runny-looking. But, you know, the grumbling stomach always rules.
  10. The dip goes wonderfully with pieces of flat bread.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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