Amy, the only strict vegetarian in our book group, brought this to one of our meetings years… ouch, more than a decade ago, since it was before Gus was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Rich and satisfying, it remains a favorite. The original recipe includes making crackers out of pita bread baked with melted butter, cumin, and lemon pepper. Since I have yet to find satisfactory GF flat bread or pita, we incorporated the flavors in the dip: delicious! It also makes it possible to serve as a side to “south of the border” entrees.
Spicy Spinach & Cheese Dip – Serves 12-16
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
10 ounces steamed spinach, chopped and squeezed dry (or 10 oz. organic frozen spinach, cooked and squeezed dry)
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated (reserve a little to sprinkle on top before baking if you like)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (organic and wash the lemon – you’re using the peel!)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Combine the peppers, onions, tomatoes, spinach, cream cheese, cream, cumin, zest, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir to blend evenly.
3. Fold in the Monterey Jack cheese and turn into a round shallow oven safe serving dish. I often use a ceramic fondue dish.
4. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until steaming, bubbling, and lightly browned.
Serve with GF chips or crackers. A dollop is also a excellent “side” on a plate of enchiladas, fajitas, or tamales.